Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are required by The Ghost Trust before any investigation at any location. Risk assessments are also usually required by locations as part of their insurance coverage and by the legislation that governs them.

While not the most exciting form to fill in, it is important to show that you have considered and eliminated or minimised the risks involved with the investigations.

Standard Risk Assessments

There are some standard risk assessments used globally for each investigation which cover the basic risks faced on every investigation.

The basic, physical risks noted are as follows:

  • Falling
  • Infection from Injury
  • Interference from the Public (which may get violent)


Metaphysical risks

  • Attack – Hitting, scratching, pushed and pokes.
  • Attachment
  • Oppression
  • Possession


These risks have already been assessed and procedures put in place to minimise these to a safe level. Members do have to sign a liability waiver, but this is for legal purposes only.



Risk Assessment Procedure

Risk assessments should always be carried out by a person who is experienced and competent to do so, competence can be expressed as a combination of Knowledge, Awareness, training, and experience. If necessary consult a more experienced member or external professional help to assist with the risk assessment.

There are 8 steps to carrying out a risk assessment;

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Identify those at risk
  3. Identify existing control measures
  4. Evaluate the risk
  5. Decide/Implement control measures
  6. Record assessment
  7. Monitor and review
  8. Inform


If the risk is not adequately controlled decide which new control procedures are required and ensure these procedures are implemented. The control measures are the actions performed to reduce either the probability of the accident happening or the severity of the outcome, and where possible both.

When considering what measures to put in place it is important to consider both severity and likelihood, in order to minimise the overall risk.
When deciding what new control measures will be required, it is helpful to work through the ‘hierarchy’ of controls.

The hierarchy is as follows:

  1. Elimination – get rid of the risk altogether
  2. Substitution – exchange one risk for something less likely or severe
  3. Physical Controls – separation/Isolation, eliminate contact with the hazard
  4. Administrative controls – safe systems of work, rules in place to ensure safe use/contact with hazard
  5. Information, instruction, training & supervision – warn people of hazard and tell/show/help them how to deal with it
  6. Personal Protective Equipment – dress them appropriately to reduce severity of accident
  7. Control measures should be practical and easy to understand (what to do and why they are doing it), applicable to the hazard, able to reduce the risk to acceptable levels, acceptable to the individual and easy to operate.

After you have implemented the new control procedures, then re–rank the risks as above to determine the new residual risk, you should aim to get the risk to as low as is reasonably practicable until it is at a tolerable level.