Example risk assessment for a convenience store/newsagent
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 shop manager carried out the risk assessment
in the convenience store, which is located on a
busy high street and has a weekly turnover of about
£15 000. It sells newspapers and magazines (but
does not do deliveries), alcohol, tobacco, greetings
cards, household essentials and tinned, frozen and
other pre-packed foods. Twelve staff are employed,
most of them part-time, working a variety of
morning, afternoon and evening shifts. One member
of staff is four months pregnant.
At the rear of the shop there is a staff toilet and
bathroom, staff rest room, where drinks etc can be
made, and a stockroom. The store is open from 7 am
to 10 pm, seven days a week.
How was the risk assessment done?
The manager followed the guidance in HSE’s Controlling the risks in the workplace.
- To identify the hazards, the manager:
- looked at HSE’s website, to learn where hazards can occur, including the pages for small businesses, the work-related violence case study for shop workers and those for new and expectant mothers;
- walked around the shop, the stockroom and all
other areas, noting what might pose a risk and taking HSE’s guidance into
consideration. Occasional activities,
such as changing promotional displays or changing
light bulbs, were also taken into account;
- 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; and
- decided that when the risk assessment was complete,
the manager would go over the findings with the
pregnant employee, to see if there were any particular
risks to her that needed to be removed, reduced or
- The manager wrote down who could be harmed by the
hazards and how.
- For each hazard, the manager wrote down what
controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards.
These controls were then compared to the good
practice guidance on HSE’s website. Where existing
controls were not considered good enough, the
manager wrote down what else needed to be done to
control the risk.
- The manager discussed the findings with staff and
displayed the risk assessment in the staffroom. The
manager outlined when the actions needed to be
done, and who would do them, and decided to tick the
actions off as each one was completed.
- The manager decided to review and update the
risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major
changes in the workplace happened.