Carrying out a Risk Overview

When carrying out a risk overview, you may wish to base it on the template below and follow these steps:

Identify the hazard

A hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as an obstacle along a route, an uneven walking trail or a reversing car in a car park. To identify any hazards associated with your event, you should walk your route and venue areas and note what could reasonably be expected to cause harm (this may involve visualising temporary facilities and the hazards associated with them prior to their setup). Where a hazard is present, highlight the related activity within the ‘Event Activities’ column and note the hazard within the ‘Hazard Identification’ column.

Decide who might be harmed and evaluate the risk rating: Identify the groups that may be at risk from the hazard – staff, volunteers, participants, spectators and/or third parties - assign a risk rating to each group based on the chance and severity of someone being harmed.

The risk rating is noted as being low, medium or high which is determined by:

  • Low risk: Where minimal hazard is present and therefore the hazard is acceptable.
  • Medium risk: Where hazard is present but acceptable with adequate control measures.
  • High risk: Where hazard is unacceptable and should be avoided, or requires action to be taken to reduce hazard to an acceptable level
Decide on control measures and precautions

Where you have identified a medium or high risk hazard, you will have to reduce the risk rating ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ in order to make it suitable. This may include using existing or additional control measures, such as changing a route to avoid an obstacle, requiring the use of appropriate footwear or providing stewards to direct traffic in a car park. You should note all control measures in the ‘existing and additional control measures’ column. Following this, you will need to revaluate the hazard risk rating based on the control measures. In the case of a high risk hazard that cannot be reduced, it should be avoided at all costs.

Remember even where control measures are in place, accidents will still happen. So consider further control measures, even for low risk hazards, such as simply carrying a radio or mobile phone and a first aid kit at all times.

Assign control measure actions and record your findings

Having noted your revaluated hazard risk rating, you must note when the action of implementing the control measure is needed by, when it has been done and who has carried out the action.

Review your risk overview and update as necessary

If the risk overview is sufficient, it should be signed by the competent person carrying out the overview and reviewed and signed by another competent person. If you plan to complete the same event along the same route at the same venue, a new risk overview should be completed to determine any new risks. 

Ready to organise your event?

Simply download the Event Form below and e-mail the form along with any route maps or other relevant information to

This project is funded by Sport Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and is supported by Mourne Heritage Trust, Leave No Trace, National Trust, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership and Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.

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