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Risk assessment for estate agency

publication date: Nov 10, 2007
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riskThis example risk assessment is intended to show the kind of approach a small business can take. Use it as a guide to think through 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. Doing that 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 office manager carried out the risk assessment in this estate agency, which employs twelve staff and is located on a high street. The shop deals primarily with domestic premises, with occasional involvement in the sale and letting of commercial premises. The shop is open from 9am to 6pm, six days a week and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

How was the risk assessment done?

The manager followed the guidance in ‘5 Steps to Risk Assessment’.

1) To identify the hazards, the manager

  • Looked at HSE’s Office Health and Safety web pages to learn where hazards can occur. The manager also looked at the HSE’s web pages for work related violence.
  • Walked around the shop, the stockroom and all other areas noting things that might pose a risk, taking into consideration what was learnt from HSE’s guidance
  • Talked to the deputy manager and staff to learn from their knowledge and experience, and to get their concerns and opinions about health and safety issues; and
  • Looked at the accident book, to gain an understanding of what particular risks have previously resulted in 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. They then compared these controls to the good practice guidance set out in HSE’s publications and on its web pages. 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 then set out when the actions that were needed would be done and who would do them. He decided that these actions would be ticked off as they were completed. He discussed the findings with staff and pinned the risk assessment up in the staff room for all staff to see.

5) The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major changes in the workplace happened.