School Risk Assessments – a Guide for Premises Managers and Caretakers

Back to School season is here! School premises managers and caretakers have an important role to play in ensuring the safety of everyone on school grounds. One of the most important things they can do is to carry out risk assessments.

Risk assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating hazards in the workplace and putting controls in place to reduce the risks. It is an essential part of health and safety management and required by law in most countries. 

There are many different types of hazards which can exist in a school environment. Some of the most common hazards include: 

  • Falls from heights 
  • Slips and trips 
  • Fire 
  • Electrical hazards 
  • Chemical hazards 
  • Biological hazards 
  • Violence and aggression 
  • Bullying 
  • Harassment 
  • Discrimination 


When carrying out a risk assessment, it is imperative to consider all the potential hazards which could affect the people who use the school buildings and grounds. This includes pupils, staff, visitors, and contractors. 

The risk assessment process: 

  • Identify the hazards. This can be done by carrying out a walk-through inspection of the school premises, and by talking to staff and pupils about their safety concerns. 
  • Evaluate the risks. The hazards need to be evaluated to determine the level of risk. This can be done by considering the likelihood of the hazard occurring, and the severity of the harm that could be caused. 
  • Put in place controls. Controls need to be put in place to reduce the risks. These controls can include physical measures, such as installing safety rails, or procedural measures, such as providing training on how to use equipment safely. 
  • Review the risk assessment. The risk assessment should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is still accurate and up to date. This should be completed annually, or more often if there have been any changes to the school premises or the activities that take place there. 


Additional tips for carrying out risk assessments in schools: 

  • Involve all stakeholders in the risk assessment process, including pupils, staff, visitors, and contractors. 
  • Use a variety of sources of information to identify hazards, such as accident reports, incident logs, and staff and pupil feedback. 
  • Use a risk assessment template to help you to structure your assessment. 
  • Ensure that the risk assessment is clear, concise, and easy to understand. 
  • Review the risk assessment regularly and update it as required. 


Risk assessments are an essential part of keeping schools safe. By carrying out regular risk assessments, school premises managers and caretakers can help to identify and reduce hazards and keep everyone safe.  

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the school / college grounds and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics relevant to schools 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering hazardous work activities and events at school 
  • Management system to document control the policy on risk assessment 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on assessing risks 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents at school / college both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where school / college staff can report and record any concerns to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 


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