Skip to main content

Risk Assessments

What is Risk Assessment?

The full UCC Risk Assessment procedure can be located at the following section in the Safety Statement: Safety Statement Volume 3a. The following information provides a short overview on risk assessments.

A Risk Assessment is a careful examination of anything in the workplace that could cause harm.

Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires that employers and those who control workplaces to any extent must identify the hazards in the workplaces under their control and assess the risks to safety and health at work presented by these hazards.

Employers must examine and write down these workplace risks and what to do about them. Ultimately, assessing risk means that anything in the workplace that could cause harm to your employees, other employees and other people (including customers, visitors and members of the public) must be carefully examined. This allows you to estimate the magnitude of risk and decide whether the risk is acceptable or whether more precautions need to be taken to prevent harm.

Employers are required to implement any improvements considered necessary by the risk assessment. The aim is to ensure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill.

However, it is important to remember that, in identifying hazards and assessing risks, employers should only consider those which are generated by work activities. There is no need to consider every minor hazard or risk that we accept as part of our lives.

The results of any Risk Assessments should be written into the Safety Statement.

(Source: Health and Safety Authority)

Heads of School/Functional Area have a legal duty to ensure that work activities are risk assessed in advance and that adequate risk controls are applied to eliminate or minimise the risks.

General Risk Assessment Template

General Risk Assessment Form

Risk Calculator

Impact Types

An Occupational Safety and Health Risk may be associated with multiple impact types. According to the UCC Risk Management Policy risk owners assess the severity of each risk using a five-point scale and criteria where examples of the severity of each risk is categorised under five headings:

  1. Strategic and Operational risks
  2. Regulatory
  3. Financial
  4. Reputational
  5. Service (Business) Continuity

Injury may be included under Strategic and Operational risk type as there is no specific “Injury” impact category in the UCC Risk Management Policy.



Risk owners assess the likelihood of each risk using the five-point scale which is shown in outline below. The risks should be assessed by factoring in the controls which are already in place to mitigate each risk.

  1. Rare
  2. Unlikely
  3. Likely
  4. Possible
  5. Almost Certain


Risk Matrix

  • Multiplying impact by likelihood provides the overall risk rating or risk
  • Which risks pose the greatest threat?
  • Which risks to prioritise?
  • Which risks to resource or identify additional mitigation measures/further actions for?

Dept RA Reconciliation/Estimator Tool (2017)

RA reconciliation/Estimator tool for UCC users: 

Dept RA Reconciliation 2016

The Excel Work book tool provided above will assist the management of UCC Schools and Depts. to:

Comprehensively evaluate the work activities H&S risks under their control and

Determine the extent of Risk Assessments that they should have in place or need to put in place to meet risk management and operational management obligations under SHWW Law and UCC safety Policy.

The workbook should be read in conjunction with the PDF guide attached. ‌Guide to FA & Dept RA reconciliation 2016and2016 FA ASR - Mgt of H&S for managers (guide)

This new tool allows for activities and risks to be filtered for relevance across humanities/ low risk departments and across variable risk departments (applied scientific, medicine, dentistry, SEFS, service depts.). There are 5 main risk tabs to consider: Physical; Ergonomic and Human Factors; Fire and Flammable; Hazardous Substances; Biological Risks. 

Heads of School/Dept., as the controlling minds per Regulation 80 of the SHWW Act, have a legal duty to ensure that work activities are risk assessed in advance and that adequate risk controls are applied to eliminate or minimise the risks (24/7).

Health and Safety Office January 2017

Footnote. This estimator tool whilst comprehensive is not an exhaustive listing of all possible risks that need to be considered

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork