Risk-taking is sometimes considered a good thing entrepreneurs are known for it and Lord Alan Sugar wouldn’t give you the time of day if you weren’t prepared to take a few flyers. But staff isn’t one of them. You must choose well, motivate them, train to gain, reward them and keep them safe from harm.

I’m not actually referring to the big bad stuff here the death and destruction that gets all the headlines. Unfortunately, those are the risks you have to take just by being in retailing. I’m talking about the regulatory admin which, as we all know, is time- consuming and either complicated or boring.

Risk assessment, as these chores go, isn’t as hazardous as it sounds. As I replied to Charlie Mitha, who asked on email how to go about doing a risk assessment for his small store. It’s mainly common sense, and there is help.

As you no doubt know, if you have five or more employees, you must have a written health and safety policy. The policy does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. To help you, H&SE has created a template that you can download and complete. The template also includes a section for your risk assessment so that you can record everything in one document. Go to www.hse.gov.uk for more information.

There are five steps to doing one: 1. Look for hazards (and ask your employees what they think might be hazardous. Always good to share). 2. Decide who might be harmed and why. Concentrate on the real risks like knives, slicing machines, hot ovens. 3. Evaluate whether you have proper precautions in place (a guard for the slicer). 4. Record your findings. 5. Review from time to time and revise if necessary.

See, simples!