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Example risk assessment for a hairdressing salon

Important reminder

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

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

Setting the scene

The salon owner carried out the risk assessment in their business, which employs eight staff, working a variety of full- and part-time shifts. The salon is open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, six days a week. The premises consist of the salon, a stock room and a staff room with chairs, a kettle and a fridge.

How was the risk assessment done?

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

  1. To identify the hazards, the salon owner:
    • looked at HSE’s Health and safety toolbox site, to learn where hazards can occur, ‘A Guide to the Health and Safety of Salon Hair Products’ provided by her supplier, and HSE’s 'Bad Hand Day' web pages on dermatitis;
    • walked around the salon, the stock room and all other areas, noting things that might pose a risk and thinking about what was in the HSE guidance. Occasional activities, such as receiving deliveries and stacking stock, were also taken into account;
    • talked to the staff about health and safety issues and concerns in the salon;
    • looked at the accident book, to understand what has previously resulted in incidents.
  2. The owner then 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. She then compared these controls to the guidance she had read. Where existing controls were not good enough, the owner wrote down what else needed to be done to control the risks.
  4. Putting the risk assessment into practice, the owner discussed the findings with staff and pinned the risk assessment up on the notice board for all staff to see. 
  5. The owner decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major changes happened at the salon.
Updated 2014-09-01