Health and Safety in a Leisure and Hospitality business is a 24 / 7 responsibility.

News & blog » Managing your risks

May 16, 2016

Mike Foster

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Health and Safety in a Leisure and Hospitality business is a 24 / 7 responsibility. Unlike some other businesses, it is not the type of business where you can consider the risks one day and then review them again in twelve month’s time.

Due to the nature of our business, the hazards and risks even change with the next visitor through our doors. This may be accessibility or behaviour related or even the effect of alcohol on people.

It is even more of a consideration when things are constantly changing in our premises, such as the activities that may be placed on the agenda as we ‘Spring into Summer’.

As part of managing the Health and Safety of your business you must control the risks in your workplace. To do this you need to think about what might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm.

Surely this is just red tape and bureaucracy? Well unfortunately not and can in fact be a life saver. So why do we focus on Health and Safety in the workplace? Well here are just some of the benefits:

  • Fewer accidents
  • Creates a “fire wall” to protect the business from “no win-no fee” claims
  • Less risk of disruption
  • Less chance enforcement penalties and no / smaller fines
  • Positive / professional company image
  • Reduced insurance premiums (growing trend)
  • Improved morale and employee retention (a caring culture)
  • Fewer disputes and improved productivity

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA) 1974 has many sections and the detail in the legislation can often lead to further confusion with phrases such as “So far as reasonably practical” and “To manage reasonably foreseeable risks”. However, for reference in summary;

  • Section 2 – Responsibilities to look after your employees
  • Section 3 – Responsibilities to look after non employees
  • Section 7 – For the employees to look after themselves

So how do we manage these responsibilities and control the risks from a Health and Safety perspective?

Contrary to many discussions, a risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.

To do a risk assessment, you need to understand what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide whether you are doing enough to prevent that harm. Once you have decided that, you need to identify and prioritise putting in place, appropriate and sensible control measures.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Identify what can harm or injure people in your workplace
  • Establish where the hazard may be encountered
  • Identify who might be harmed and how (eg staff, suppliers, customers, members of the public)
  • Evaluate the risks, the consequences and deciding on the appropriate controls, taking into account the controls you already have in place
  • Establish if any further action is required
  • Record your risk assessment
  • Review and update your assessment regularly

To help you consider the risks, here are just a few hazards to consider assessing as managers of a leisure and hospitality business:

  • Blood Borne Diseases/Body Fluids
  • Burns and Scalds
  • Broken glass
  • Legionnaires’ Disease
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Violence and personal security
  • New and expectant mothers
  • Young people at work
  • Vehicle movements
  • A boards
  • Use of cellar lift
  • Washing machines, Dishwashers, equipment
  • Ladders/Step Ladders/Foot Stools
  • Use of patio heater
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Knifes
  • Oil Filters and Grease Traps
  • Walk-in chiller/freezer
  • Waste compactor
  • Children’s high chair
  • Internal or External play areas / equipment
  • Beer Line Cleaner
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Manual Handling
  • Fire
  • Electricity
  • Hazardous substances / chemicals (COSHH)
  • Bottled /Compressed gas

In consideration of the hazard you should consider and record your control measure. So can you:

  • Remove it (always your priority consideration)
    • Get rid of it
  • Avoid it
    • Do it safer
  • Or take a Workplace precaution such as
    • Training
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Safe system of work


Further information

The HSE guidance leaflet for Risk Assessments can be downloaded here

HSE Risk Assessment example for Pubs


Contact details

  1. E:
  2. Tel: 07968 534034