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Example risk assessment for a poultry farm

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 farm manager did the risk assessment in this poultry farm, which employs him and five others (two people work part-time). There are eight poultry sheds, with 20 000 broiler chickens per shed.

Next to the sheds is a mess room with a toilet and washing facilities (hot and cold water), clothing lockers and a small kitchen for making hot drinks, preparing food etc.

The farm has been surveyed for asbestos and no traces were found.

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 web pages for agriculture, hazardous substances and for small businesses to learn where hazards can occur;
    • walked around the farm, noting what might pose a risk. Occasional activities, such as changing light bulbs, were also considered;
    • talked to workers to learn from their knowledge and experience; and
    • looked at the accident book, to understand what previous problems there had 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. They were then compared with 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.
  4. The manager discussed the findings with staff and displayed the risk assessment in the mess room for everyone to see. The actions identified as being necessary were implemented. As each action was completed, the manager ticked it off.
  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