Health & Safety Briefing


  1. This note is to provide background on what the Board will need to do as its develops premises based projects.
  2. When it takes on premises the Board will have to have a Health & Safety policy, to ensure that it is is compliant with all legal requirements and best Health and Safety practice in the workplace, whether  it is a community information and activities shop, or a workspace and small business premises.
  3. Health and safety is monitored by the Health and Safety Executive.
  4. If the Trust has premises in which it allows the sale of food products made by residents in their homes, or special promotion events by small food producers, it will need to consult the Council’s Environmental Health Officers.
  5. It is their job to visit shops, primarily to advise and then to ensure that correct practices are being enforced and dangerous practices are stopped. It is recommended that early contact is made with the Environmental Health Officers so that they have the earliest opportunity to advise as a project develops.
  6. Every shop must have a health and safety policy and have the necessary procedures in place to comply with the law. Whilst overall responsibility for health and safety control rests with the Board in the case of a community shop, it is the responsibility of all to ensure that the shop is a safe place to be.
  7. Since health and safety legislation requires both employers and employees to comply with certain minimum requirements, both can be held responsible if they fail to do so.
  8. If the Trust provides opportunities for home based makers of foods to sell in the community shop then the makers will need to be aware of and comply with food safety and hygiene regulations. These need to be applied to food storage, display, handling and selling.
  9. The Food Standards Agency has produced a special pack for retailers to explain food safety regulations – ‘Safer Food, Better Business for Retailers’ and is free and available to order from the Food Standards Agency at

Risk assessment

  1. When setting up ‘the shop’ the Board will need to ensure all risks have been checked, such as a fire risk assessment for extinguishers, evacuation points and procedures, and that the wiring and electrical devices have been checked, all alarms are in place and working, and so on. These are processes that have to be done regularly and so it is important to keep records carefully to monitor when updates are due.

The legal requirements

  • A written health and safety policy
  • A written risk assessment
  • A record of the significant findings of the risk assessment
  • Consulting with staff and volunteers on health and safety matters
  • The training of staff and volunteers on health and safety matters
  • Displaying of a current employer’s liability insurance certificate
  • Displaying the ‘Health and Safety’ Law poster § Recording and reporting as necessary any injuries and accidents – in an accident book available from the HSE or commercial booksellers Health and safety topics which are relevant to village shops include:
  • General practices and procedures
  • Preventing slips, trips and falls
  • Manual handling
  • Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • Good housekeeping and standards of cleanliness
  • Food handling regulations
  • All aspects of fire safety and risk assessment
  • All aspects of security, both of premises and personnel
  • First Aid provision
  • Reporting of accidents including RIDDOR
  • Noise at work
  • Use of electrical equipment

Fire Safety

  1. The Board will be responsible for the safety of all staff/volunteers and customers. 
  2. It will need to observe all the key points below: 
  • carry out a Fire Risk Assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • advise staff/volunteers or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
  • have a Fire Safety Plan in the event of an emergency
  • provide staff/volunteer information, fire safety instruction and training