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Example risk assessment for a village hall

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 management committee decided to do a risk assessment of their village hall to control the risks to people who used the hall and were involved in its maintenance and upkeep.

The management committee did not have a legal requirement to record the findings of this risk assessment as less than five people work at the hall. Much of the repair and maintenance work at the hall was done by self-employed workers, who have responsibility for their own health and safety, as well as for other issues like the hours they work and their financial and tax arrangements.

However, the management committee decided that there were sound legal and business reasons to record the findings of the risk assessment, and to take steps to make sure that they were brought to the attention of those working or holding an event in the hall.

The secretary of the management committee did the risk assessment.

How was the risk assessment done?

The secretary followed the guidance in Five steps to risk assessment.

  1. To identify the hazards, the secretary:
    • looked at HSE’s web pages for free health and safety advice and guidance for small businesses;
    • walked around the hall, car park and other areas with another member of the management committee, and a regular user of the hall, noting things that might pose a risk; and
    • spoke to other users of the hall, and to people who had done jobs at the hall, to learn from their experience and to get their views on health and safety.
  2. The secretary then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
  3. They wrote down what controls were in place to manage these risks and then compared these to the guidance on HSE’s website.
  4. They put the findings of the risk assessment into practice, writing down who was responsible for doing what, and by when. They decided to tick off each action when it was completed, and to record the date when it was done.
  5. The secretary discussed the findings with the management committee. The committee decided to put in place all the additional risk controls the secretary had suggested. They also decided that the risk assessment would be shown to all workers doing jobs at the hall, and given to all users of the hall, and that it would be discussed with the representatives of all groups using the hall for the first time. A copy was also put up in the reception and kitchen areas. The management committee decided to review the risk assessment every year, or immediately if any changes occurred to the hall or how the hall was used.
Updated 2012-11-29