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Example risk assessment for a pub

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 carried out the risk assessment in this pub, which is located in a suburban, residential area.

This risk assessment only addresses liquid sales; a separate example covers the occupational health and safety aspects for food preparation. (Also see catering web pages.)

The manager and his partner live on the premises, they also employ eight other bar staff, four full-time who work lunchtime and evening shifts, five-days every week and four part-time staff at weekends and providing absence cover for the full-time staff.

The pub has a function room with dance floor for live-music events and discos with a bar. It is cleaned every morning by a cleaner, the manager and his partner cover when the cleaner is on holiday. The manager buys cleaning products from the wholesaler or from a rep who visits once a month.

The premises were built before 2000; the pub building was surveyed for asbestos when it was acquired by the owner. Asbestos-containing materials found in the survey have been recorded, a copy of the survey is kept at the pub and the owner holds a duplicate copy. A further, more detailed survey can be arranged to send out to contractors when building works need to be done.

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 the hospitality and catering industry to learn where hazards can occur;
    • made clear who was responsible for what under the terms of the tenancy agreement. This was especially important for issues such as asbestos management, gas safety, pressurised equipment, replacement of carpets;
    • walked around the pub, noting things that might be dangerous and taking HSE’s guidance into consideration;
    • talked to the staff (including the cleaner) about their work 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 his preferred suppliers of maintenance work, to ensure that their activities did not pose a risk to pub staff, and vice versa;
    • observed deliveries by his food and drink suppliers; 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, the manager 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 manager discussed the findings of the risk assessment with staff and pinned up a copy in the staff room. He decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straight away if any major changes in the workplace happened.
Updated 2014-09-01