Example risk assessment for a travel agency
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
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 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
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- The manager decided to review and update the
risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major
changes in the workplace happened.