As community musicians we should carry out risk assessments to ensure

  • That we can keep our participants safe (Health & Safety)
  • That we have a successful session or project (Project Management)

A risk assessment is a systematic examination of a task, job or process that you carry out at work for the purpose of identifying the significant hazards, the risk of someone being harmed and deciding what further control measures you must take to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.


Health and Safety

We may not work in a hazardous occupation, but there will be times when we will need to assess risks for both ourselves and for our participants.

For example we do not always work in a nicely appointed ‘fit for purpose’ music teaching room. We could be in a multi-use community room, or the outdoors.

Project Management

Risk assessment is an important step in the project management plan. The risks need to be identified so you can put things in place to overcome them to ensure the project comes in on time and on budget.

There are three steps in any risk assessment:

  1. Identify the hazards/risks: what can go wrong?
  2. How bad is it if it does go wrong?
  3. What needs to be done to prevent it causing harm?

Step One: Identify the hazards/risks: what could go wrong?

Find out what the significant hazards associated with the task or processes are. Look for the hazards that you could reasonably expect to result in significant harm, for example:

  • Tripping hazards from equipment, cases or electrical leads.
  • Insecure venue where participants could wander away and get lost
  • Losing a key member of the team, a key partner dropping out

Step Two: How bad is it if it does go wrong?

Think about individuals or groups of people who may be affected e.g.

Music leaders, Participants and what might happen to them’ for example:

People can get hurt by tripping over empty cases left lying around OR

An old peoples’ home has brought participants to a workshop but there is no music leader to run the workshop

Step Three: What needs to be done to prevent it causing harm?

Identify Existing Control Procedures. Examine how you already control the risks; it is unlikely that you or your participants are getting injured on a regular basis, OR that workshops are cancelled at the last minute, so you must have some controls in place already.

What is the likelihood of it happening, and if it does happen what harm will it cause?


  • Think of the different situations you have worked in. Identify some of the hazards you have encountered. How could they have been avoided?
  • Complete the Risk Assessment Table for your next session (we have added some examples)
  • Find out who is responsible for Health & Safety regulations in your country/region.

Risk Area Risk Impact Likelihood Control
Project management Music leader sick and can’t run the session. High Low All parties have contact details so session can be cancelled or re-arranged. Music leader can arrange for another music leader to cover the session.
Health and Safety Someone trips over and breaks a bone. High Medium Make sure the room is tidy and people can move around easily.
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Last modified: Sunday, 9 September 2018, 12:46 PM