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Example risk assessment for a convenience store/newsagent

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 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.

  1. 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 controlled.
  2. The manager 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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major changes in the workplace happened.
Updated 2014-09-01