Risk Assessment for Craft Fairs (UK)

Risk Assessment

Be honest, you hadn’t even thought about risk assessment, had you? It really isn’t a big job once you know how. You probably need just two documents that you can then reuse for every fair.

What is risk assessment anyways?

It is a document that proves you have thought about the potential hazards and risks associated with an activity (in this case, the craft fair you are attending) and have done what you can to reduce those risks. You may need two documents, one for outside fairs where you provide your own gazebo and the other for indoor fairs. My understanding is that if you are attending a fair where the organisers provide the gazebo, the indoor fair document is valid as responsibility for the gazebo in those cases lies with the organisers.

So what does it look like?

Well there are lots of risk assessment templates available online. There are even examples to be found online. The government offer some templates and examples, but I found most to be not very useful for craft fairs. If you go looking for examples, it is best to try to find UK ones specific for craft fairs. In creating my own I did a lot of research, looking at schools and youth groups, outdoor activities and retail risk assessment documents as well as ones for crafting and craft fairs.

Didi Lou Crafts Risk Assessment

I did the risk assessment for Didi Lou Crafts to attend crafts fairs back in May last year and am happy to share a mock up of both documents here as another example:

OUTSIDE

Organisation/company: Your Business Name Description of activities: Craft Stall with gazebo at Fair/Market
Completed by: Your Name Date: DD/MM/YY Signature: Your Signature
Last reviewed by: Your Name Date: DD/MM/YY Signature: Your Signature
HAZARD OUTCOME PERSONS AT RISK MEASURES FURTHER ACTION LEVEL OF RISK PERSON RESPONSIBLE
Fire Burns, smoke inhalation Stallholder, general public No smoking allowed within the gazebo.
No flammable materials or electricity will be used in the stall area.
Organisers to provide general fire fighting equipment and marshals in the event of a fire on site.
Put up a no smoking sign in gazebo.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ fire safety procedures.
Low Your Name
Weather: high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms Displays blowing over and hitting people Stallholder, general public Ensure gazebo is properly tied or weighted down and that any pegs and ropes are clearly visible. In extreme weather, displays should be packed away to prevent damage.
In high wind, double check ropes and weights.
Medium Your Name
Issues with gazebo Leaks Stallholder, general public If leaks develop, repair quickly. Have duct tape available for minor repairs Low Your Name
Issues with displays Tipping, blown or knocked over and hitting people Stallholder, general public Secure all display signs and furnishings well before setting up items for sale. Have extra cable ties, duct tape, etc to deal with minor problems. Medium Your Name
Slips, trips and falls Slips, trips and falls Stallholder, general public Avoid wires and cables that could be tripped over.
Keep areas tidy and store boxes under tables.
Take extra care in muddy situations.
Stallholder to ensure public cannot access rear of display tables.
Low Your Name
Tablecloths Trips, pulling off. Stallholder, general public Tablecloths will be positioned to not trail on ground and secured safely. None required. Low Your Name
Falling objects Bruising Stallholder, general public Ensure tables are stable on the ground before loading them with items. None required. Low Your Name
Breakable items Cuts from broken glass or pots Stallholder, general public Place breakable items away from the edges of the table.
Ensure table coverings are firmly attached to table.
Be prepared for cleaning up should an accident happen. Medium Your Name
Hazardous substances Inhalation Stallholder, general public No foreseen need of hazardous substances at this stage. None required. Low Your Name
Hazardous items Cuts and stabs General public Scissors, needles, etc, used for setting up and working in quiet times should be put away when not in use and kept away from the general public. None required. Low Your Name
Electrical Electric shock Stallholder, general public No foreseen need for electrical equipment at this stage. Lights at Christmas are battery operated. All electrical equipment to be PAT tested before use. Low Your Name
Manual handling Strains Stallholder Use trolley for moving heavy items.
Move items in manageable loads.
None required. Medium Your Name
Working in extreme weather Sunburn
Cold
Mud
Stallholder Stay under the gazebo.
Have sunblock and sunglasses.
Bring sufficient suitable clothing.
Bring sufficient suitable drinks.
None required. Low Your Name
Violence and threatening behaviour Threat Stallholder Keep calm.
Call for help.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures/staff. Low Your Name
Working alone Threat Stallholder Be aware of people around.
Keep money out of sight.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures. Low Your Name
Theft Threat Stallholder Keep a firm lookout on what is happening, especially if large groups are around. Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures. Low Your Name

INSIDE

Organisation/company: Your Business Name Description of activities: Craft Stall in Hall
Completed by: Your Name Date: DD/MM/YY Signature: Your Signature
Last reviewed by: Your Name Date: DD/MM/YY Signature: Your Signature
HAZARD OUTCOME PERSONS AT RISK MEASURES FURTHER ACTION LEVEL OF RISK PERSON RESPONSIBLE
Fire Burns, smoke inhalation Stallholder, general public No flammable materials or electricity will be used in the stall area.
Building owners to provide general fire fighting equipment. Event organisers to provide marshals in the event of a fire on site.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ fire safety procedures.
Stallholder to be aware of closest emergency exits.
Low Your Name
Issues with displays Tipping, knocked over and hitting people Stallholder, general public Secure all display signs and furnishings well before setting up items for sale. Have extra cable ties, duct tape, etc to deal with minor problems. Medium Your Name
Slips, trips and falls Slips, trips and falls Stallholder, general public Avoid wires and cables that could be tripped over.
Keep areas tidy and store boxes under tables.
Stallholder to ensure public cannot access rear of display tables. Low Your Name
Tablecloths Trips, pulling off. Stallholder, general public Tablecloths will be positioned to not trail on ground and secured safely None required. Low Your Name
Falling objects Bruising Stallholder, general public Ensure tables are stable on the ground before loading them with items. None required. Low Your Name
Breakable items Cuts from broken glass or pots Stallholder, general public Place breakable items away from the edges of the table.
Ensure table coverings are firmly attached to table.
Be prepared for cleaning up should an accident happen. Medium Your Name
Hazardous substances Inhalation Stallholder, general public No foreseen need of hazardous substances at this stage. None required. Low Your Name
Hazardous items Cuts and stabs General public Scissors, needles, etc, used for setting up and working in quiet times should be put away when not in use and kept away from the general public. None required. Low Your Name
Electrical Electric shock Stallholder, general public No foreseen need for electrical equipment at this stage. Lights at Christmas are battery operated. All electrical equipment to be PAT tested before use. Low Your Name
Manual handling Strains Stallholder Use trolley for moving heavy items.
Move items in manageable loads.
None required. Medium Your Name
Working in extreme weather Sunburn
Cold
Mud
Stallholder Stay under the gazebo.
Have sunblock and sunglasses.
Bring sufficient suitable clothing.
Bring sufficient suitable drinks.
None required. Low Your Name
Violence and threatening behaviour Threat Stallholder Keep calm.
Call for help.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures/staff. Low Your Name
Working alone Threat Stallholder Be aware of people around.
Keep money out of sight.
Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures. Low Your Name
Theft Threat Stallholder Keep a firm lookout on what is happening, especially if large groups are around. Stallholder to familiarise themselves with the organisers’ security procedures. Low Your Name

They are actually not so different, the weather issues and gazebo not included on the indoor one and the fire precautions now assigned to slightly different people.

gazebo

Now make your own risk assessment documents

Well you’ve read about them and seen the ones I use for Didi Lou Crafts, so now it is time for you to create your own. Hopefully you can now see they are not as scary as maybe you thought. It really is all about thinking of the possible dangers to you and to the public and doing what you can to reduce those dangers.

As I said above, I am very happy to share this so you can use this content for your own business, in other words you are free to copy and paste any and even all of these details in creating your own risk assessment documents for your small business. However, if you are using the details online, for example on your blog, I would prefer you to acknowledge Didi Lou Crafts as the source with a link to this post.

What do I do once I have a risk assessment document?

Keep the document safe. Check it from time to time to ensure it is still up to date. For example, if you start doing demonstrations at fairs you may need to add more sections. When I got new christmas lights, I added the small bit about them being battery operated. Print a copy of each version and add them to the portfolio you take to each craft fair, so if Trading Standards ever turn up you will have a copy to give them. Be sure to implement everything you have said in the risk assessment every time, so boxes stored away, breakable items displayed away from the front of the table, no smoking sign up in your gazebo, carrying boxes in manageable loads, checking fire exits, etc. You really should be asking the organisers about their fire and safety procedures each time too, something I admit I am lax about.

What if I organise craft fairs?

That is a whole different ball game, which I have not covered here. You are likely to need written fire and safety procedures, appointed fire and safety staff and, in some cases, parking attendants. Contact your local Trading Standards for advice.

Good luck with your craft fairs.

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Enter one distraction and quality control inspector

A friend has recently moved overseas. It was all a bit rushed, so I am currently cat sitting her little Princess until all the medical requirements for immigration have been fulfilled and my friend has earnt enough money to pay for the medical procedures and the shipping. With all that needs doing medically, we expect she will have to be with us for at least 2 to 3 months, but it could be longer as my friend is still looking for a job.princessbThis is Princess. She is slowly settling into the house and getting to know us. I had spent time with her before, visiting my friend and also feeding her when my friend was away, but she had never met my husband before and we were unsure how that would go. At first she would run and hide whenever he moved, but we made a point of talking to each other normally when we knew she was close by. Slowly and surely she has got used to him and now will beg him for neck scritches when she wants them. He hasn’t been bold enough yet to pick her up or invite her onto his lap, but that will come.

Things haven’t quite gone to plan though, I put her in a large dog cage at first in a room we don’t particularly use but that we walk through regularly each day, thinking it would give her a safe place for a few days where she would see and hear us, but she managed to slip out of that within 10 minutes. She is a curious little thing, getting into everything, although she is very gentle too, so not too many accidents and we haven’t had to move too much around to “cat-proof” the house. We are slowly teaching her that our expensive computer chairs, the wheelchair and the laptop bags are not scratching posts, everything else we are not too worried about. She is now in heat, so is being difficult, wanting to get out and I’ve had to resort to extreme measures at times to keep her in, like closing doors to rooms, which cats don’t like. Spaying is on the list to be done before she moves overseas, but it is safer for her to wait and have the operation when she is not in heat, so we are being subjected to another week of cat calling and neck scritch demands.

princesshelpingbShe is, however, a bit of distraction from the crafting, wanting to explore everything. I had to shut her out of a room to do some photography of new products for the Didi Lou Crafts Etsy shop as the light cube was something she just couldn’t resist. She does like to curl up on me at the computer and crafting desk, but on my chest rather than my lap, which makes it nearly impossible to move for a while, no crafting and no networking going on when she is like that. The other habit she has developed can be seen above, where she sits in front of the keyboard, on my craft cutting board, resting against the mouse, which again leaves me unable to do much for a little while as it seems to cruel to wake her (and to be honest, best not wake the sleeping dragon while she is in heat, she is a noisy little thing at the moment).

Luckily I am finding time to progress on the crafts for Didi Lou Crafts and I have been busy ordering in stock ready for my Christmas crafting, as well as listing new items on the Didi Lou Crafts Etsy shop, as I have over 30 items ready to go and perhaps another 10 that are close to being ready. I’ve actually just had a delivery of some of that Christmas stock and I can now tell you they are Princess approved, the new box entering the house needed sniffing and checking before I could deal with it. She seems to like boxes, to sleep on during the day.

Right now I am focussing on the fact that English Father’s Day is exactly a month away, June 19th, so listing new cards for that. The picture below shows the new cards, 2 use paper collage and the other 3 are decoupage, all with a sporting theme, which seems to be popular for male cards. I have left them blank, which makes them versatile, suitable not just for Father’s Day but for birthdays and other celebrations. You will find them appearing in the Father’s Day Section of my Etsy shop this week.

Male cardsb

 

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Crafting Blitz Vacation

devoncraftsI have just returned from a full week at my favourite crafting hotel. My mother is on her bi-annual trip from Australia and we went to Devon together. We worked mostly on items for the store. I have come back with 4 engraved glass items, 4 painted glass items, 5 painted bisque Christmas decorations, 2 other painted bisque items, 2 Christmas cards, 3 other cards, 5 painted porcelain items and 2 silk painted items, which I will list on the Didi Lou Crafts Etsy store over the coming weeks.

bugmugsappteach

We also had fun, making a few craft items for our own personal enjoyment. We also spent time in the spa, which was nice. The photos here are just a sample of what we made for Didi Lou Crafts during the week and were “snaps” done on the camera on the phone. A proper photography session is definitely planned for some time this week. Some of the new items (like the male cards) will be added this week, others (such as the Christmas items) will not appear for a few months.

devoncardsxmasbisque

The good news is Christmas is still 229 days away, but UK Father’s Day is less than 6 weeks away. You can check the Father’s Day items in stock by going directly to the Didi Lou Crafts Etsy store Father’s Day Section here.

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