Traders and risk assesments ??

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Martin Cowley

Traders and risk assesments ??

Postby Martin Cowley » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:39 am

We have been contacted by a couple of re-enactment organisors asking for risk assesments ,is that normal or is becoming the shape of things to come ? My concerns are

A.never done one
B.How do you do one
C.why is it only re-enactments that want one?
for example do i point out that choking on food stuck in your throat from a tester is a "risk" ?
The thing i have noticed is that its only re-enactment organisors that want one,no festivals have asked,no council run food markets have asked so why only re-enactment ?
I love re-enactment trading but if we have to prepare lots of paper work to do it it really isnt going to appeal in fact IMHO will put some traders off,it certainly is making me think about what i book for next year.
Opinions ?

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Postby PaulMurphy » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:21 pm


See for some help. Basically, as an employer or self-employed person you should already be doing this to some extent, and if your employers liability insurers have not already asked for a H&S policy and a risk assessment for your production and selling facilities, you're very lucky.

The whole process should take maybe an hour, once you realise what is required. Production risks are to you and your employees only, and would include burns, scalds, manual handling of supplies, etc. Selling risks are also to the public, and so would include tent collapse, fire, trip hazards, etc.

Organisers are asking for it because their H&S people are on the ball, and want to be sure that they're covered if anything goes wrong. As a business, you need to adopt the same attitude - for them, an accident could lose them their job. For you, it could lose you your reputation and business.

Best wishes,


Paul Murphy
Tournée & The Vikings

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Postby X » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:43 pm

I've no idea about other traders, but our group often gets asked to provide risk assessments for what we do. Here is a link to the HSE's Idiot's Guide to Risk Assessment:

You don't have to do a separate risk assessment every time you do an event, as long as your show doesn't change. For instance, we have a standard risk assessment for the blacksmith, which just gets sent off to everyone who asks. You just have to review it every year or two to make sure it's still current. If your work/show changes depending on environment, you might do a site visit and risk-assess the site before you arrive. Not likely to be a problem for you, because your responsibility is just your stall. But for re-enactment groups, there are hazards like rocks, holes in the ground, and low tree branches that might constitute extra risks in the camp depending on location, and ideally these should have their own risk assessments.

Risk assessments can be quite useful, because they make you think about what you do in a new way, and sometimes you realise that there are risks that you've never thought of, but need something doing about them.

For instance, your 'choking on samples' risk. A really, really simple risk assessment would go like this:

Samples are laid out on the counter on plates so that customers can taste products. There is a risk that a customer may choke on a sample.
Probability: low
Maximum damage: high (death)

Actions taken to reduce risk:
1. Jerky cut into very small pieces.
2. Jerky placed so that small children cannot reach it.
3. Stallholder has undertaken a first aid course and is aware of actions to be taken for a choking person.

Date of original assessment: April 2006
Date of last review:
Date next review due: April 2008

Do it once, do it right, and you won't have to do it again until it's due for review. It makes you look efficient, and if the worst happens and someone does choke on your jerky and sues, you can produce your risk assessment in court and this will be evidence that you had considered the risk and done all you reasonably could to reduce the risk to as low a level as possible.

As the saying goes, better to have and not need than need and not have...

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Postby Tuppence » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:47 pm

It's pretty much the norm already - most insurance companies ask for it (including the ones used by event organisers, which probably explains their requests).

Won't just be re-enactment organisers who need them, but there's a good chance that if not asked for them it's cos the organiser already has them in place.

Paul's right, you should have them for everything you do.

My event ones cover setting up / breaking down the stall / tent etc. as well as the actual show.

An hs type person advised me (after the hse were less than helpful), to just think of every activity that could be considered part of 'work', and then to think of everything that could go wrong, guage the risk by how likely it is to happen, then detail what the outcome would be (ie how bad would a resulting injury be).

Obviously, the actual making ones wouldn't be relevant to you, but I can send you copies of my trading ones (some of it won't be relevant, but a lot will, and you're welcome to bastardise).

Let me know by e-mail.


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Steve Stocker
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Postby Steve Stocker » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:29 pm

At first it seems like a waste of time, but if you approach it with an open mind a good risk assessment actually makes you think about what you are doing.
It's not all bull's do-do's.


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House of De Clifford
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Postby House of De Clifford » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:06 pm

Hi Steve, hows tricks ?? where you at next ?

House of De Clifford
Suppliers of ethical fur and hides to Re- enactment, Film, Tv and Theatre.

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Steve Stocker
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Postby Steve Stocker » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:45 pm

PM'd you.

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Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:37 pm

wow didnt realise,well marks showing me how to do it so,thats sorted lol
OI DE CLIFFORD I HAVE SKINS FOR YOU ! REMEMBER ! when can you get em m8 and good news ,i may have a regular,really really regular supplier of boar skins,cow skins,deer skins,rabbit ,etc,ring me,oh and PICK UP THE FUNKING SKINS YOU LAZY SHITE ! :D ,oh antler as well :D


Postby Scraggles » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:49 pm

maybe ask the requestors for advice ?

if re-enactors themselves they should have pointers to help people out

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