Make updating your Covid risk assessment as easy as ABC

If you are a food business that has recently re-opened following the lifting of Covid restrictions. There is no doubt you will have had a lot of things to think about including making sure the controls are  in place to keep your customers safe. In my last 2 blogs I have highlighted things that have changed recently. These include the Test and Trace requirements and workplace COVID testing, for more information click here.

Have you updated your risk assessments?

Your risk assessments for COVID as well as for food, health and safety must be relevant to your business. You have a duty to protect your employees, customers and visitors from harm, See the Health and Safety Executive’s page on Managing risks and risk assessment at work.

Risk can not usually be eliminated but if it can’t it must be  controlled. You must review and update your risk assessments when anything changes in your business or in legislation or guidance to stay legal.

Generic Risk Assessments

You can get hold of generic risk assessment templates by doing an internet search. However as every business is unique they must be adapted to fit what you actually do. I have seen many food businesses using generic risk assessments where the controls are not relevant. A copy and paste job just won’t cut the mustard here unless the controls apply to your business operation.

FSL Risk Assessment Template

During the epidemic I have put together a number of sample risk assessments. The rules for hospitality businesses have changed in response to the COVID data and I have updated the templates in response to this. The controls I have put together are always based on the guidance at the time and best practice.  They are designed to help get you started on doing your own risk assessment and to help you make sense of the information out there.

How to put a risk assessment together

I recommend you do a walk through your business and look at the journey from the staff, customer and visitor’s point of view. You must consider that many people will not have been to your premises before. If you can tell them what you want them to do then it helps to make things less confusing. Some businesses have been putting a list of helpful instructions on the door so customers know what the rules are. There are also things you must do legally such as displaying a sign about wearing face masks.

Do I need to write my risk assessment down?

Legally no, unless you have more than 5 employees but every business is being advised to write their risk assessments down? This is because if something goes wrong you have some evidence that you are managing the risk of the COVID virus spreading in your business.

To get your hands on my new risk assessment template for Step 2 sign up to my email list here. You will then receive COVID updates including an updated version for when hospitality businesses can open their indoor seating areas no earlier than May 17th 2021.


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