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Example risk assessment for a butcher's shop

Important reminder

This example risk assessment shows the kind of approach a small business might take. It can be used as a guide to think through some of the hazards in your business and the steps you need to take to control the risks. Please note that it is not a generic risk assessment that you can just put your company name on and adopt wholesale without any thought. This would not satisfy the law - and would not be effective in protecting people.

Every business is different - you need to think through the hazards and controls required in your business for yourself.

Setting the scene

The owner carried out the risk assessment in this butcher’s shop, which is located on a busy high street. The owner employs five people, two of them part time. The owner will soon be taking on a 17-year-old apprentice.

At the rear of the shop is a staff toilet and washing facilities, an area where staff can make hot drinks etc, a cold store and storage space for dry goods. The shop trades from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm, six days a week.

This risk assessment addresses the risks to the owner and his staff from work activities in the shop. It does not cover compliance with food safety and hygiene legislation, information can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

How was the risk assessment done?

The manager followed the guidance in Controlling the risks in the workplace.

  1. To identify the hazards, the owner:
    • looked at HSE’s web pages for small businesses, to learn where hazards can occur;
    • walked around the shop, the stockroom and all other areas noting what might pose a risk, taking HSE guidance into consideration. The owner also considered occasional activities, such as changing light bulbs;
    • talked to staff to learn from their knowledge and experience, and listen to their concerns and opinions about health and safety issues in the shop;
    • looked at the accident book, to understand what previous problems there have been;
    • decided that, on the apprentice’s first day at work, they would go through the risk assessment with him and decide what additional risk control measures were necessary, taking account of the apprentice’s lack of both experience and awareness of risk.
  2. The owner wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
  3. For each hazard, the owner wrote down what controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. These controls were then compared to the guidance on HSE’s website. Where existing controls were not considered good enough, the owner wrote down what else needed to be done.
  4. The owner discussed the findings with staff, displayed the risk assessment in the staffroom and made it part of the induction process for new staff. The owner decided when the actions that were needed would be done, and who would do them, and decided to tick the actions off as each was completed.
  5. The owner decided to review and update the risk assessment every year or straightaway if major
    changes in the workplace happened.
Updated 2014-09-01