Risk assessment information and form

This guide outlines the process of identifying hazards you may encounter when investigating the history of Scotland’s towns and cities, and how to keep yourself and others safe.


Your health and safety while you are outdoors, investigating the history of Scotland’s towns and cities is very important. Some of the activities you organise during a Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP) project, such as visiting, surveying and recording buildings or sites, or preparing and delivering a heritage tour, will have potential hazards associated with them. If you are aware that hazards exist and can identify them and their likelihood, you will be less at risk.

Please read our Personal Safety guidance carefully when you are organising a site visit or tour.

We ask that you produce a Risk Assessment (downloadable pdf form below) before undertaking any site visit, tour or other activity. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) considers it good practice that volunteers always have the same level of health and safety protection as they would at work.

For further information on all aspects of health and safety, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), visit the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk or www.britsafe.org or call the HSE Infoline on +44 (0) 8701 545500.



What is a Risk Assessment?

A Risk Assessment is a straight-forward, common-sense approach of identifying and recording potential hazards which might cause harm, how this harm might be caused, and who might be harmed. It specifies how to reduce the likelihood of these hazards causing harm. Vulnerable groups, including people with restricted mobility, impaired vision or hearing, will need to be given extra consideration and additional controls may need to be implemented to keep them safe.

There are two levels of risk assessment:
1.    general
This assesses the risks that you will already know about and can do something about (such as wearing appropriate clothing in cold or wet weather or using a pedestrian crossing, bridge or underpass to reach the other side of a road to avoid being hit by a vehicle or cyclist).

2.    on-site or particular risks
This assesses potential hazards which you might encounter whilst on a site visit or on a tour. These could include using ladders in your survey and recording work or identifying unsafe structures.

The on-site assessment should be dynamic, reflecting what you can observe on the site, and you should change the assessment if conditions change. This could include:
•    change in weather conditions
•    obstruction or hazard caused by a third party
•    unforeseen circumstances

Where the level of risk involved is moderate or high, you should detail what measures you take to control the risk. Preferably, avoid the risk completely.

Once you have completed the Risk Assessment sign and date the form. The form should be read and agreed by all team members before beginning a building or site visit, or tour.