Is a DIY risk assessment for my store a hefty load?
Published:  24 April, 2009

Q I need to carry out a risk assessment on my shop. Do I hire a?specialist or can I do it?? And what criteria should I use to assess risk???A The Health & Safety Executive advises that regular risk assessment is a legal requirement, and can protect you, your staff and your customers from injury or even death. Itís a fairly common sense procedure and the HSE website even publishes a sample risk assessment document designed specifically for off-licences. Youíll find it at hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/pdf/?offlicence.pdf.

Essentially, you need to take a good look around your premises, weighing up everything that could potentially be hazardous. This could include stacking shelves, dealing with deliveries, the threat of violence? or electrical issues (even changing a lightbulb can? result in injury)?.

Your risk assessment will set out what steps you have already taken to minimise risk, what further action is necessary, who is responsible for that action and a deadline for it to happen.

Involve your staff as much as possible in the process, and identify their concerns. They may well understand the workings of the shop better than you. And make sure you review your risk assessment at least annually.




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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