Posted on: August 12, 2023 Posted by: Aaron_George Comments: 0

The IOSH Certification stands out as a symbol of knowledge and dedication to maintaining a secure workplace. Risk assessment is crucial to upholding safety standards, as experts are aware. The IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix stands out among the many tools and methods available for its potency in assessing and classifying hazards. In this thorough overview, we explore the IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix nuances and shed light on its relevance and usefulness.

Table of contents 

  • What is IOSH Certification?
  • Exploring the IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix
  • Understanding the Axes
  • Interpreting the Risk Ratings
  • Practical Application
  • Conclusion

What is IOSH Certification? 

Various authorised health and safety courses are available via the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), an international-renowned professional organisation. Having an IOSH certification makes people better at managing risks in the workplace because it shows a thorough awareness of health and safety practices and concepts. It gives professionals the skills to spot possible risks and efficiently reduce them, making the workplace safer.

Exploring the IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix

The IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix is at the centre of a successful risk assessment. With the use of this instrument, risks may be systematically assessed according to their likelihood and impact. The likelihood and severity matrices are split into five levels, resulting in a 5×5 grid with 25 potential risk combinations.

Understanding the Axes

The possibility of a certain danger occurring is shown on the horizontal axis, with values ranging from “Rare” to “Almost Certain.” The severity of the outcome, if the risk materialises, is shown on the vertical axis, with values ranging from “Insignificant” to “Catastrophic.” Professionals can calculate a risk’s total risk rating by plotting the expected likelihood and severity of the risk on the matrix.

Interpreting the Risk Ratings

Based on the point where the likelihood and severity axes connect, the IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix determines risk ratings. Typically, these ratings consist of the following:

  1. This type of risk necessitates prompt notice and response. These are the possible catastrophes that might cause serious hurt or damage and require immediate attention.
  2. This category includes hazards that might have serious repercussions, and that urgent mitigation is necessary to avoid. For their influence to be reduced, prompt intervention is essential. 
  3. The effect of risks in this category might be less severe than those in higher categories, but they still have the potential to cause injury or disruption. However, they must be appropriately handled. 
  4. This category of risks poses a low level of risk and is frequently manageable by normal safety precautions and standard operating procedures. 
  5. This category often includes risks with low chances and little impact. Even though they might not need immediate treatment, these should be kept an eye on and occasionally assessed.

Practical Application 

A dynamic method for ranking risks and selecting effective control measures is the IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix. For instance, dangers that fall under the categories of “Extreme” and “High” should be swiftly handled with strict procedures. These could include changing work procedures, adding more safety precautions, and offering specialised training.

However, even if “Medium” or lower dangers might not require as much urgent action, they should still be taken into consideration. Maintaining a safe environment might benefit from frequent monitoring and control measure modifications.


The IOSH 5×5 Risk Matrix emerges as a significant ally in the struggle against workplace dangers in occupational health and safety. Professionals can perceive, analyse, and reduce hazards efficiently when they hold an IOSH certification. Workplaces may safeguard the safety and well-being of their employees while establishing a culture of risk awareness and management by knowing the subtleties of the matrix and using it sparingly.

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