Example risk assessment for an off licence
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 did the risk assessment in this off licence, which is located on a busy street. The shop is open every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Six people work there doing a variety of shifts.
At the rear of the shop is a staff-only area with a toilet/bathroom, a kitchen where hot drinks and food can be prepared, and a stockroom.
How was the risk assessment done?
The manager followed the guidance in 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;
- walked around the shop and all other areas, noting potential risks and taking into account what was learnt from HSE’s guidance. Occasional activities, such as changing promotional displays or changing light bulbs, were also considered;
- talked to members of 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 has previously resulted in incidents.
- The manager then 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. They then compared these controls 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 pinned the risk assessment up in the staff room for everyone to see. The necessary improvements that the risk assessment identified were put into practice.
- The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major changes in the workplace happened.