Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment

If risk needs to be considered with regard to things done by the Hackspace then we need to do some sort of analysis:

This is, of course, only one of many ways we could approach the problem. Our first concern must be the people potentially at risk, then the physical infrastructure, like the building or event location, which we'd like to leave in as good state as before we visited, the equipment that we use for the hacking, and the resources, like electrical power, and other consumables, we are using.

We also want to avoid undue social risk, as some people might be in a new, strange, place, and that can make them more vulnerable. Then, there are things like reputational risk to the Hackspace as an organisation (and, indirectly, the IC and DMU), because, we want to be able to go on hacking!

Tools & Materials

Any tools in the Hackspace are only for the use of members, and on the premises. Included in 'tools' is various parts of the Hackspace infrastructure, like power supplies, printers, laptops and other IT equipment. If it is marked 'Do Not Hack' then assume it is infrastructure. If we run a workshop then an assessment needs to be done of risk to the participants, from the tools and materials used, even though in almost all cases there will be no electrical or chemical risks. For physical risk, like from swarf or small pieces of wood, we have protective equipment which should be used; if there is not enough of these then the event or workshop must only be run for those properly equipped.

The Hackspace in most respects counts as a light engineering workshop, and we are not using most of the tools and processes considered most risky, by someone like HSE. Our training procedures for use of tools covers members, and we don't allow non-members to do anything except observe use of those tools from a safe distance, while wearing any suitable protection.

You may want to look at the HSE approach to risk assessment for events.

Sample Risk Assessments

Hopefully one of these might come close to the sort of event we're assessing. So, hack those assessments!