Risk Assessments Made Easy

All records of the assessments must be kept. All significant results of your assessment, the hazard list and action list must be kept. A record of when and how any action was taken and what will have been done and the things that still need to be done should be kept alongside. These are some of the points you should have in mind when coming to do your Risk Assessment:

    • Can we get rid of the hazard altogether?
    • If not, how can we control the risks so that harm is unlikely?

To try to control the risks using the following options;

    1. Try a less risky option
    2. Prevent access to the hazard
    3. Organise activity to reduce exposure to the hazard
    4. Use personal protective equipment
    5. Try to limit the effect of the hazard

Examples of Possible Hazards

Riders (clients or staff) falling from horseback

During instruction, performance, capabilities. Tack, clothing & safety gear employed. Use of leaders and side walkers

Falls during mounting

Capabilities, training and instruction of staff and clients

Faulty, unsuitable or badly fitted tack

Tack inspection, selection & identification. Fitting and adjustment. Cleaning & maintenance routines

Slips trips and falls on the same level

Uneven ground or floors, trailing hoses or cables, slippery or wet areas, possibility of spillages, impact of adverse weather

Falling from a height

Maintenance, haylofts, storage areas, other access to elevated areas. Use of ladders, permanent means of access, guard rails. Contractors coming onto site

Hazardous substances

Cleaning agents or veterinary medication. Warning labels on packaging. Storage & use, access, existence of alternative substances, methods of preventing exposure, methods of controlling exposure, protective clothing or equipment. Contaminated sharps disposal


Fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, wood preservatives. Warning labels. Safe storage, methods of disposal, competence of users

Dust and other airborne substances

Can cause asthma, respiratory sensitisation, allergic reaction, rhinitis, lung damage, infection & other harm. Dust prevention, dust limitation techniques, controlling exposure, levels of ventilation, location of dust generating activities, number of people exposed.


    • Diseases transmitted from animals to man. Ringworm -by skin contact, especially through cuts & abrasions, symptom identification, treatment of infected animals, personal protective
    • Equipment, personal hygiene facilities. Leptospirosis -contracted via rat urine either directly or indirectly via e.g. animal feeds or bedding. Pest control, care of cuts & abrasions, personal protective equipment & personal hygiene facilities. Tetanus -can be passed from horses to humans via droppings or bites. Vaccination & care of cuts & abrasions

Electrical wiring and equipment

Age of the electrical system & when it was last inspected. Examination/testing of fixed or portable equipment. Routine checksmade by staff. Fault protection, circuit breakers, and residual current devices. Equipment used in wet areas. Use of safe lowvoltages. Use of extension leads. Modifications to installation & equipment. Vulnerability to damage

Failure or malfunction of lifting equipment

Thorough examination at required intervals, routine checks by staff. Observance of safe working loads & safe methods of use. Ground surface on which equipment used. Training & supervision for users


Intruder security, disposition of clients. What is known about past incidents or aggressive behaviour or threats.

Lone Working

Tasks requiring more than one person, monitoring lone workers to ensure they remain safe, raising the alarm in case of illness, accident or emergency


Flammable substances, materials and structures. Highly flammable substances including fuel. Possible sources of ignition, smoking rules. Fire fighting, procedures and evacuation.

Inadequate lighting

Sufficient light for safe working or riding activity, location and /or protector of light fittings, suitability of switches, especially if outside.


Tractors, power take offs, grass cutters, straw cutters, feed rollers, horse walkers, pressure washers. Maintenance regimes and routine checks, preventing access to moving parts, safety of any electrical machinery. Training and supervision for users.

Ancillary equipment

Equipment incidental to the core activities e.g. DIY, catering, mechanical handling, boilers etc. Physical condition, electrical safety, inspected where necessary, instruction and training on use, restriction to authorised personnel

Manual Handling

Consider the task, load, environment & individual capability. Not just lifting & avoided

Being kicked, bitten, trapped or crushed by a horse

Who has access to the horses and in what circumstances? Suitability of the animals. Confined spaces, loading/unloading horse boxes. Experienced handlers. Adequate instruction, supervision & training for all

Vehicle movement onto, from or within site

Avoid pedestrians/riders and vehicles using the same area. Avoiding need for reversing. Designated walkways. Supervision of children or less aware clients. Lines of sight within the site and on entry/exit. Speed limitation. Restricting vehicular access

Use of spectator seating

Ground conditions, location, load capacity, integrity & erection, falls from tiered seating, safe access & egress for spectators

Unauthorised access

To stabling, storage, arenas, riding areas, machinery, equipment, hazardous substances, electrical installations. Prevention, awareness, reducing risks arising from access.

Falling items

Collapse of stacked items such as bales, items falling from high level storage, maintenance activities, contractors on site. Likely results of impacts from horses, people or vehicles.

Parts of the premises that might cause injury

Sharp edges or projections, low headroom, finger traps in gates, shutters, doors etc. Drainage or inspection chambers and covers.