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Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong it will go wrong! To avoid becoming another victim of Murphy you need to think about what can go wrong (risks) and what you can do to minimise the chances of them going wrong (risk management).

This guide is designed to help you to understand how you can identify, assess and avoid risks (it may not cover all hazards or risks that may be present, and does not supersede your legal duties to conduct risk assessments).

Risk Management can be broken down into 3 steps:

Identify the types of thing that could go wrong.

You then need to assess how likely and how severe the problem could be.

Lastly you need to think about how to control the problem

The Health & Safety Executive now promotes the Plan, Do, Check, Act methodology for risk assessment a brief summary of which can be found here. It is a simple way to approach risk assessment and can be applied to all the specific risk assessments detailed in this article.


Fires are common in the pub industry and can cause irreparable damage to your business. They are a serious threat to the safety of you, your family, your staff and your customers.

Fires require an ignition source (and/or heat), this might be an electrical spark or a kitchen range’s gas burner. It then requires a fuel source, such as waste paper, cooking oil in the kitchen or bottles of spirits behind the bar.

Fires can start in most areas of your pub. What you need to do is look at high risk areas such as the kitchen, around heaters, electrical wiring, smoking areas (whether designated or actual), and how you store waste.

As an employer you are responsible for ensuring the fire safety of employees, members of the public and any persons living on the premises.

This guide contains examples of the type of questions that may be asked whilst undertaking a fire risk assessment. These checklists may be useful as a guide when undertaking your own fire risk assessment, but it is vital that they are tailored to the hazards, risks and nature of your pub.

You need a Fire Log Book, which is designed to enable the responsible person for fire safety in your business to keep adequate records of maintenance, tests, evacuations, inspections etc required as part of a Fire Risk Assessment.

For the complete set of responsibilities you should refer to the Government guidance:

England & Wales:

Scotland: Safer Scotland, Scottish Government: Practical Fire Safety Guidance for places of Entertainment and Assembly.

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