Online Tool Helps British Retailers Assessing Retail Hazzards

A quick and easy online tool to help British retailers assess the hazards in their shop is available to trial.
The 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 bureaucracy. (WCxKit)
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 minimize 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, noted, "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 about.
"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 assessmentsmake 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. (WCxKit)
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.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: or 860-553-6604.

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