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A “Risk Assessment” (RA) is a commonly used procedure in workplace of today to assess and document the level of risk a certain work activity may have. RA’s are routinely used in numerous industries including;
Building / construction
Workplace training
Emergency Services
Scientific laboratories
It is likely that whatever workplace you go to, especially a scientific research lab, you will be expected to conduct and document RAs for your research projects.


An RA ensures we, as researchers, are undertaking a particular activity in the safest way possible through thorough planning to minimise risk to ourselves, public and the environment. Whilst the use of RAs are is a mandatory requirement under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2000) and Regulations (2001), it is more than just a paper filling exercise. The use of an RA ensures the following occurs:TERMS, DEFINITIONS AND TOOLS USED IN THE RA PROCESS

The following tables (Tables 1 to 3) can be used to categorise the risks, consequences and recommended actions for each identified hazard. The following information describes what is involved in completing a full risk assessment. For each BABS course, you have been provided with information which is a condensed form of risk assessment which you may use in order to complete an RA for each practical you do.

Hazard: A hazard is a source of potential harm or a situation with the potential to cause harm
Risk: A risk is the chance of something happening that will have an impact on objectives. It is measured in terms of consequences and likelihood. In the OH&S context, risk should be thought of as the OH&S consequence of a given severity, and the likelihood of that particular consequence occurring
Consequence: The outcome of an event
Likelihood: The likelihood of the consequences of an event
Risk rating: The procedure that produces a risk level for the activity. This is a combination of the consequence of a risk and the likelihood those consequences will occur

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