UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Staff/Student Intranet

When is a new risk assessment required?

If proposed laboratory work falls within the scope of the activities already covered in the laboratory or facility risk assessment, there is no requirement to do a full, separate new assessment. However, line managers and supervisors should ensure that their staff and students are familiar with the hazards & controls and receive any necessary training required by the risk assessment.

Otherwise, it is still a good starting point for a new assessment to use the existing laboratory assessment as your starting point. This way, you ensure you include all of the hazards and controls that already exist in your workplace. RiskNet allows existing assessments to be copied across to new entries- see below for more information- which makes this very easy.

Likewise, where an existing risk assessment for a similar task to your work exists in RiskNet, it is both permitted- and encouraged!- to use this as the basis for your new assessment, rather than starting from scratch. In this way, you can make good use of existing expertise. Remember, if the risk assessment was for work in different lab or was completed a long time ago, it will need to be changed to include the latest safety information for the correct lab.

Similar to laboratory risk assessments, certain equipment and specialised processes often have their own safety assessments already prepared. Examples include X-ray generators, high power laser systems, and processes involving hazardous chemicals. Often it is not appropriate for non-specialists to attempt risk assessment for these types of equipment and processes, so you will instead be provided suitable training covering the safe operation and safety controls required by the existing risk assessment.