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Example risk assessment for a night club

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 manager did the risk assessment at this nightclub, which is located in a city centre. It has three bars, three dance floors and an additional ‘quiet bar’. Live bands also perform there.

Thirty staff are employed at the club, which is open to the public from 8.00 pm to 3.00 am. Five staff members do not speak English as their first language, but are sufficiently fluent to be able to do their job, understand safety instructions, deal with difficult situations etc. There is a staff room, where drinks can be prepared and food heated, and separate toilet and washing facilities for staff.

The club is cleaned every morning by cleaners from a general office cleaning contractors. The cleaners store the cleaning materials in a locked cupboard. Maintenance work with the exception of the most straightforward activities which are done in-house, is done by contractors. These are chosen from a preferred list of suppliers. Work is undertaken following procedures set out in the club’s permit to work system for contractors.

The premises were built before 2000. The building has been surveyed for the presence of asbestos. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were found but as the ACMs were in good condition and in places were they were unlikely to be damaged, worked on or disturbed, it was decided to leave them in place.

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, and for entertainment and leisure, to learn where hazards can occur. [1]
    • walked around the club noting, things that might pose a risk and taking HSE’s guidance into consideration;
    • talked to supervisors and staff to learn from their knowledge and experience of areas and activities, and to listen to their opinions about health and safety issues in the workplace;
    • talked to the office cleaning contractors, and to his preferred suppliers of maintenance work, to ensure that their activities did not pose a risk to club staff, and vice-versa; and
    • looked at the accident book, to gain an understanding of previous incidents.
  2. The manager then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
  3. For each hazard, he wrote down what controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. He then compared these controls to the good practice guidance provided on the HSE website. Where existing controls were not considered good enough, the manager wrote down what else needed to be done to control the risk.
  4. Putting the risk assessment into practice, the manager decided and recorded who was responsible for implementing the actions identified as necessary and when they should be done. When each action was done, he ticked it off and noted the date. He also made it part of the induction process for new staff.
  5. At the staff meeting, the office manager discussed the findings of the risk assessment with staff and pinned up a copy in the staffroom. He decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if any major changes in the workplace happened.


  1. For more information see HSE's web pages on noise at work in the music and entertainment sectors.
Updated 2014-09-01