Risk Assessments

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess the health and safety risks arising from their work activities and to record the significant findings of the assessment. This includes the risks staff are exposed to whilst at work and the risks to others such as students, visitors and contractors that are affected by our activities.

The risk assessment process demonstrates that the risks relevant to work activities have been considered and that sensible and proportionate measures have been taken. It also assists Schools and Departments in managing risks and prioritising any actions and resources required.

The University Risk Assessment Procedure outlines the risk assessment process to ensure that the risks inherent in the activities of the University are assessed and appropriate controls put in place. 

General Risk Assessment

The University has a General risk assessment template for use in higher risk areas and one for use in lower risk areas and these can be found below.

In addition, there are a range of other templates for carrying out more specific assessments for chemicals, manual handling, display screen equipment etc. Details on these can be found in the following drop down menus.  

Higher Risk Areas
General Risk Assessment Template (HR) suitable for use in Schools and Departments that have areas/work activities that would be classified as being of higher risk. For example, laboratories, field trips, workshops etc.

Guidance documents for completing the risk assessment form:

Appendix 1 - Risk Matrix
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 1- HRRisk Assessment Guidance Part 1- HR
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 2 - HR
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 3 - HR
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 4 - HR
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 5 - HR
Risk Assessment Guidance Part 6 - HR

Lower Risk Areas
General Risk Assessment (LR) suitable for use in Schools and Departments that have areas/work activities that would be classified as being of lower risk. For example, offices, computer labs etc.

* Please note that some Schools and Departments are in the process of transitioning from the previous GCU General Risk Assessment template.

Chemical Assessment

Further information, including the COSHH Procedure can be found via the following link Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

COSHH Assessment Template

Manual Handling Assessment

Further information, including the Manual Handling Procedure can be found via the following link: Manual Handling 

Manual Handling Assessment

Overseas Travel Assessment

Further information on Overseas Travel including the travel risk assessment form and emergency details form can be found in the Overseas Travel section.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment

The University has an online DSE training and assessment tool.

The online training provides staff with possible solutions for any problems identified. Staff should implement the solutions that are within their capability to do so and where identified issues cannot be resolved, contact their local DSE Assessor for further assistance.

Further information on DSE, can be found in the Display Screen Equipment Section.‌


Fieldwork Assessment

In development

Student Placement Assessment

In development

GM Assessment

Any project that requires genetic modification as part of teaching/research must be approved by the GCU Genetic Modification Steering Committee (GMSC). The form you require depends on what is being modified and further details, including the assessment forms can be found in the genetic modification section of this website.

New and Expectant Mothers

The following provides information on the additional hazards associated with work activities that may be relevant to new and expectant mothers within the University and the risk assessment process.

Further information can be found in the New and Expectant Mothers Procedure and the List of Possible Hazards.

Breast Feeding Mothers

The University recognises the health benefits to a mother and baby of breastfeeding and provides support to mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding when they return to work.

The University has a maternity/pregnancy/quiet room facility available to staff and students. It is located on the ground floor of the George Moore Building, to the rear of the refurbished refectory. It is accessible by staff/student card which is required to be programmed by security to allow access to the room.

PAM Assist – Employee Assistance Programme (Staff)

The University, in association with PAM Assist, our occupational health service, provides all staff with access to the Glasgow Caledonian University Employee Assistance Programme.

PAM Assist is a free, confidential telephone and web-based information and advice service on a wide range of issues, including becoming a parent.  In addition, access to PAM Assist provides information in tip sheets, downloads of materials etc.

PAM Assist is accessible via a free-phone number 0800 882 4102 (available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) or via the internet at http://www.pamassist.co.uk (Login: GCU, Password: EAP).

Resource Links

Supporting Families Policy – provides Information on maternity leave for staff 

HSE leaflet ‘New and expectant mothers who work; A brief guide to your health and safety’.

Infection risks to new and expectant mothers in the workplace.

La Leche League www.laleche.org.uk

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) www.nct.org.uk

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers www.abm.me.uk

UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly


Young Persons

There is no requirement to carry out a separate assessment for a young person as the existing risk assessment should have taken this into consideration where required. In most cases, the necessary health and safety arrangements will be in place. However, if a School/Department has not employed a young person previously, the existing risk assessment(s) should be reviewed prior to them starting employment. This includes apprenticeships and work experience.

Under health and safety legislation, a young person is defined as anyone under the age of 18 and where they have not yet reached the official minimum school leaving age (MLSA), they are classed as a child. Pupils will reach the MLSA in the school year in which they turn 16.

Young persons may lack experience, maturity and/ or be unaware of existing or potential risks and therefore may be at an increased risk. As such, this must be taken into consideration when developing/reviewing the risk assessment. In addition, the following must be looked at:

  • Layout of the workplace, the way the work activity is organised, the type and handling of equipment (eg. different size of tools or PPE, different workstation layout)
  • Risks from particular agents (eg. chemical, biological), processes and work activities
  • Health and safety training requirements

In lower risk environments (eg. an office), this may be a relatively straightforward process however higher risk areas will require more consideration to ensure adequate controls are in place.

A young person*, who is not a child, must not carry out work involving the following unless the risks are reduced to the lowest level, so far as reasonably practicable, the work is properly supervised and is necessary for their training:

  • that which is beyond their physical and/or psychological capacity. For example, are they capable of moving and handling safely in relation to weights/loads, following instructions safely
  • involves exposure to substances that are toxic, cause cancer, can damage/harm an unborn child or can chronically affect health in any other way
  • involves harmful exposure to radiation
  • involves a risk to health from extreme temperatures (cold, heat), noise or vibration
  • involves a risk of accidents that cannot be reasonably recognised or avoided due to their insufficient attention to safety, lack of experience or training

Adequate training, instruction and supervision must be provided for a young person to enable them to work safely. This should be proportionate to the level of risk involved in the work activities, for example, work with machinery may require technical training and supervision over a longer period of time. Their progress should be monitored and additional adjustments/controls implemented where required.

*Please note, a young person who is classed as a child must not be exposed to these risks whether they are permanently employed or under training such as work experience.

It is important to check the instruction and training has been understood which will include, for example:

  • the hazards and risks involved
  • the health and safety control measures that are in place
  • first aid, fire safety and security arrangements, accident/near miss reporting, how to raise a health and safety concern

Where a young person is classed as a child, the School/Department must let their parents or guardians know the possible risks and the measures put in place to control them. This can be done in whatever way is simplest and suitable, including verbally. Where the work experience has been organised through a School, they may have arrangements in place to notify the parents/guardians, so check with them first.



Resource Links

The HSE Leaflet on Risk Assessment can be downloaded from the HSE Website.