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Example risk assessment for a warehouse

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 warehouse manager carried out a risk assessment of the warehouse. The warehouse employed 12 staff, some were part of a union.

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:
    • see the Health and safety toolbox site to learn where hazards can occur;
    • walked around the warehouse, noting activities that might pose a risk and taking into consideration what she learnt from HSE’s guidance;
    • talked through the issues with the union safety representative and asked about concerns that staff had on health and safety;
    • talked to supervisors to learn from their detailed knowledge of particular jobs and areas; and
    • looked at the accident book to gather information on past problems.
  2. The manager then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
  3. For each hazard identified, the manager recorded what controls, if any, were in place to manage these. She then compared these controls to the good practice guidance laid out in Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety and the Health and safety toolbox site. Where existing controls did not meet good practice, the manager wrote down what further actions were needed to manage the risk.
  4. Putting the findings of the risk assessment into practice, the warehouse manager decided who was responsible for implementing the further actions and when it should be done. She wrote this down and when each action was completed it was ticked off and the date recorded.
  5. The warehouse manager discussed the findings with the safety representative. They decided to review and update the assessment at least annually, or at any time when major changes to the workplace occurred. The warehouse manager gave out copies of the risk assessment to all members of staff.
Updated 2014-09-01