What is a POWRA?

Try HandsHQ for free for 14 days

Trusted by 1,500+ companies, big and small

The most trusted risk assessment software for high-risk work

Illustration - less hassle

Less hassle

Create better RAMS in less time, anywhere and on any device, without the need for training or technical expertise.

Illustration - improve your reputation

Improve your reputation

Professional-looking, consistent RAMS that can stand out from the competition and win you more work

Illustration - more time for other things

More time for other things

RAMS shouldn’t take hours and hours of formatting, copy-and-pasting

Screenshot of product - sequences of operations

Ease of use

Create better RAMS in less time, anywhere and on any device, without the need for training or technical expertise. Our Customer success team will onboard and assist you from day one if you have any questions or need any support.

Content library

Use the HandsHQ library of risk assessments, which covers all specialist contractor activities including electrical, plumbing, HVAC and more.

Find out more
Screenshot of product - risk assessment library
Screenshot of product - custom logo

Professional documents

Take advantage of well-structured documents that are quick and easy to read.


Screenshot of product - training register

Training Register

Integrate RAMS with Training Register to pull through training and competency records to your projects.

Illustration - integrations


Integrate with other software you use such as Teams, Sharepoint or any other software with an API.

Illustration - Procore integration


Link your HandsHQ and Procore accounts to have high-quality RAMS documents accessible in Procore projects.

Try HandsHQ for free for 14 days

Try HandsHQ for free for 14 days

What is a POWRA?

Both companies and individuals can be confused with what a point of work risk assessment (POWRA) is. Also known as point-of-work safety assessments (POWSA) or dynamic risk assessments (DRA), they are a process to help complement your company's risk assessment process. POWRAs can be particularly relevant in industries where conditions rapidly change, such as construction, engineering, or manufacturing. 

Let’s take a look at POWRAs in more detail

What is a POWRA?

They essentially refer to the ongoing and real-time process of continuously assessing and managing risks as situations arise when doing a job. Unlike a generic or task risk assessment that is conducted before a task begins, a POWRA takes into account the changing conditions and unforeseen factors that happen throughout the work

Think about crossing a road. To cross safely, you look left and right to check for oncoming traffic before moving from one side of the road to the other when it is safe to do so. You have done a POWRA without thinking about it!

A POWRA gives an individual the opportunity to capture any health and safety changes that are spotted on site before work starts and whilst you are completing work. In effect, this reduces the chance of a risk being missed or overlooked which could have resulted in non-compliance or injury.

Many organisations have chosen to standardise this process through a formal recorded document such as a POWRA form or risk assessment template. So it can be quite confusing as there are so many versions available for you to use.  

Who should carry out a POWRA?

In theory, anyone can carry out a POWRA to help them identify risks and put the right measures in place prior to starting work. However, it’s particularly helpful for mobile workers who will be unfaimlar with work locations.

When should I complete a POWRA?

It’s a useful habit to complete a POWRA before starting any work task. This gets you into the mindset of dynamically checking any work area to check for hazards that may not have been previously picked up.

After completing a POWRA before work, you will be unconsciously repeating the process throughout the task to continuously check for hazards.

How do I complete a POWRA?

Whether you are looking to write down a POWRA or teach the workforce to complete one in their heads, the first core skill is hazard identification. You need to be able to use your attention to detail to assess what in the working environment could potentially harm you and others.

To do this, many safety professionals will recommend a tool called a job hazard or safety analysis (JHA / JSA). Again, lots of different versions exist across all industries but the simplest one is called ‘PEME’ which stands for: People; Environment; Materials; and Equipment. These are four factors to look at on the job to assess what hazards are present


People - What groups of people can be affected by the job? Is is just me or are there visitors, contractors, the client or even members of the public at risk?

Environment - What is in the immediate vicinity that could harm me and others? Are there any changes to the environment since my last visit here? Could there be some emerging risks I need to be aware of?

Materials - What am I using to get the job done that might be inherently dangerous? Maybe I am using hazardous substances or materials that give off a hazard such as dust.

Equipment - What else am I using that could harm myself or others? Maybe I am using power tools that could give me an electric shock or access equipment I could fall at height from.

After identifying the hazards and people affected, it’s time to understand the level of risk and what to do about it. This will involve deciding what control measures you will put in place (such as stepping down electrical equipment to 110v), agreeing arrangements with others affected and recording these results before starting the job. 

If you then find a new hazard when working, you can stop the work and reassess the level of risk, considering whether new controls need to be implemented before restarting the work.      

What are the advantages of POWRA?

Real-time Adaptation: A POWRA involves continuously monitoring the work environment and adjusting control measures as conditions change. This adaptability is essential for addressing emerging risks promptly to help keep your risk assessments suitable and sufficient.

Situational Awareness: Individuals involved in the task are able to learn and improve their situational awareness. This means that their hazard identification skills improve, reducing the changes for an incident to occur and making your organisation safer.

Time saving: By amending risk assessments on the go, you don’t have to wait for people back at the office to make edits who don’t know the work environment or understand the task.

Is a POWRA a legal requirement?

There are not a legal requirement themselves as they complement your main risk assessment which is a legal requirement. A POWRA cannot be substituted for your main risk assessment which must be written down if you employ more than 5 persons.

What else is there to know about POWRA?

As a reminder, a POWRA should complement existing safe systems of work such as risk assessments and method statements (RAMS), they cannot be a substitute for them. 

A POWRA doesn’t necessarily have to be written down but can help some organisations that operate within with reactive or emergency works.

It is important to combine dynamic risk assessment with regular communication, training, and a safety culture that encourages employees to actively contribute to the ongoing assessment and management of risks. 


A POWRA can be a very useful tool in managing real time risks whilst working. Their quick and adaptable nature make them useful for any worker on the go and should be seen as a standard way of working, whether you are documenting them or not.

If you would like to discuss ways to digitise your POWRA or simply want some advice about where to start in safety software, speak to our specialist teams here