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Example risk assessment for a travel agency

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 owner/manager did the risk assessment in this travel agency, which is located in a row of shops on a busy street. The shop is open every day from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Ten people work there, six full-time and four part-time. A cleaner also works every day between 4.15 pm and 5.15 pm.

At the rear of the premises is a staff area with a toilet/bathroom, a kitchen where hot drinks and food can be prepared, and a stockroom.

The shops were built in the 1980s and the landlord has surveyed the building for asbestos. None was 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 small businesses, to learn where hazards can occur;
    • walked around all areas of the shop, noting potential risks and taking HSE’s guidance into account. Occasional activities, such as changing light bulbs, were also considered;
    • talked to staff to learn from their knowledge and experience, and listen to their opinions about health and safety issues; and
    • looked at the accident book, to understand what had previously resulted in incidents.
  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. These controls were then compared to the 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, put the risk assessment up in the staffroom for everyone to see and made it part of the induction process for new staff. The improvements that the risk assessment identified as necessary were put into practice.
  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