Webtool for shops takes worry out of risk assessment

A quick and easy online tool to help retailers assess the hazards in their shop
is available to trial. The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has worked
to produce the web tool to help implement Lord Young's recommendation that
low-risk workplaces, such as shops, are spared unnecessary paperwork and

The aim of the tool is to take the mystery out of risk assessments, giving
retailers the means to be confident that they have identified the key risks in
their premises and how to minimise them. The whole process can be completed
quickly and easily.

Local Authority (LA) inspectors who carry out inspections will take account of
the assessments as evidence that shops have taken the appropriate action.

The Health and Safety Executive, wants to ensure that it is a helpful,
easy-to-use tool and will be seeking views and feedback until March 2011.

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE, said:

"Shop managers are best placed to identify what happens in their premises and
we want to enable them to have confidence to say that they have dealt with the
risks that do exist. One of the real plus points is that the tool helps to
clear away those things that retailers really don't need to waste time worrying

"It will save time and effort and help to focus their efforts on any real
issues which need to be addressed, including identifying areas where higher
risk activities do take place."

"The new 20-minute risk assessments make it clear that the assessment of
low-risk shops can be done quickly and easily. There really is no need for long
detailed documents covering very minor and highly improbable risks."

The online tools prompt users to answer a series of straightforward questions
that generates their risk assessment and action plan. HSE recently launched a
similar 20-minute risk assessment tool for offices and one specifically for use
in classrooms is out to consultation. Simplified risk assessments for other low
risk workplaces currently being developed.

The new online risk assessment for shops is not intended to replace specific
risk assessments for higher risk activities such as the sale or storage of
chemicals or fireworks, or outlets where there are machinery operations.

More info - Source: Health and Safety Executive