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Example risk assessment for a charity shop

Important reminder

This example risk assessment shows the kind of approach a small business might take. Use it 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 manager carried out the risk assessment in this charity shop, which is located on a busy high street. It sells clothing, books and other items but does not sell electrical or gas appliances. The manager is a full-time member of the charity’s staff, as is the deputy manager who works part-time and provides cover for the manager. Both the manager and the assistant manager are appointed persons for first aid. There are eight other staff members, all volunteers and all part-time, working a variety of shifts. Five staff members are over 65.

At the rear of the shop are a staff toilet and bathroom, a small kitchen, a ‘sorting room’ and a stockroom. The store is open from 9:00 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Saturday.

How was the risk assessment done?

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

  1. To identify the hazards, the manager:
    • looked at HSE’s website, to learn where hazards can occur, including the pages for small businesses, and the work-related violence case study for shop workers and at the health and safety pages of the Association of Charity Shops;
    • walked around the shop and all other areas, noting things that might pose a risk and taking into consideration what he’d learnt from the websites. He also took occasional activities, such as changing promotional displays or light bulbs, into account;
    • talked to members of staff to listen to their concerns and opinions about health and safety issues in the shop; and
    • looked at the accident book, to understand what previous problems there have been.
  2. The manager then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
  3. For each hazard, the manager wrote down what controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. Where he didn’t consider existing controls good enough, the manager wrote down what else needed to be done to control the risk.
  4. The manager discussed the findings with staff and pinned the risk assessment up in the staff room. He put the risk assessment into practice, making sure that each identified action was done and ticking each one off as it was completed. He also decided to make it part of the induction process for new staff.
  5. The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year or straightaway if any major changes in the workplace happened.
Updated 2014-09-01