A guide to the main types of risk assessments

The term ‘risk assessment’ refers to the systematic process of identifying and evaluating the potential risks posed to a business, then implementing reasonable control measures to remove or reduce them.

There are different types of risk assessment which focus on different aspects of workplace safety.

The three main types of risk assessment are:

  • Process, which assess risks associated with broader processes or activities.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), which focuses on hazardous substances.
  • Machinery, which focuses specifically on risks associated with individual equipment.

By categorising and segregating them, it makes is simpler to manage and review them to ensure that they are still relevant and up to date.

Process risk assessment

The process risk assessment is carried out for broader processes and includes scope, identification of hazards, risk evaluation, control measures and review.

The risk assessment compares the severity of the hazard to the likelihood an incident could occur.

It’s important to evaluate the severity the risk may present and establish suitable and effective controls to reduce this risk.


The purpose of a COSH assessment is to control any risks or hazards associated with substances that could be harmful to health in the workplace.

The COSH assessment process involves identifying hazardous substances used within the workplace and assessing their use in the business.

In some ways, these assessments are more standardised than the others and there are software packages available that can assist in documenting these assessments and manage them.

Machinery risk assessment

A machinery risk assessment, on the other hand, focuses specifically on the hazards associated with individual machines or equipment.

It assesses the risks posed by machine operation, maintenance, and potential malfunctions, providing recommendations to minimise or eliminate those risks.

Machinery safety is important because moving machinery can cause injuries in a variety of ways. The risk assessments are completed to reduce the harm of the equipment and provide protection.

They are typically carried out to comply with regulatory requirements, such as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Aegis staff are trained to carry out all three types of risk assessment.  Contact us on 01772 736522 to discuss how we can assist you.