As part of running an equine business you must ensure the health and safety of your employees therefore you must control the risks in your business and their workplace.To do this you need to think about what might cause them harm and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm.To do this you need to think about what might cause them harm and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm.This is known as risk assessment and it is something you are required by law to carry out. If you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write anything down.When thinking about your risk assessment, remember: A hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, an open drawer etcthe risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.The Work at Height Regulations 2005: The Regulations require employers to ensure thatwork at height is properly planned, supervised and carried out in a manner which is, so far asreasonably practicable, safe. A place is “at height” if a person could be injured falling from it,even if it is at or below ground level. There is no minimum height at which point theRegulations apply. “Work” includes moving around at a place of work but not travel to orform a place of work. The Regulations could therefore cover employees when riding horsesor working in hay or straw storage areas, or standing on a grooming kit box to groom or plaitor tack up a horse. They could cover someone standing on a mounting block.Manual handling covers any task that involves lifting, lowering, carrying,twisting, pushing and pulling a load by hand. All activities aregoverned by the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended in2002). The regulations require employers to avoid undertaking hazardous manual handling and to assess and reduce the risks from suchhandling where it cannot be avoided.The Regulations will therefore apply in riding establishments situations such as leading horses, distributing feed and bedding to horses, unloading and stacking deliveries, handling saddles and rugs, assisting clients mount the horses and handling doors and gates.The Regulations require employers to:? avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonablypracticable;? assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that can’t beavoided; and? reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as isreasonably practicableDepending on the range of services and facilities offered by the livery stable, livery fees can be very substantial. Because of this, many horse owners will be keen to get exactly the service that they are paying for. When the livery stable fails to meets the obligations under the contract and fails to provide an adequate level of service it will have breached its contract. In breach of contract claims, the horse owner is entitled to recover all losses which flow from the breach. As well as compensation for the difference between the value of the service which the owner was offered and the service which was delivered, the horse owner will be able to claim compensation for any damage which is caused to the horse as a result of the livery stables failure in service standards.Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 employers must formally assess the personal protective equipment requirements of employees and provide suitable equipment where required. This should be as a ‘last resort’, i.e. where the work practices and systems are not sufficient to protect employees from the hazards.Any personal protective equipment provided must be suitable for the purpose it is intended, maintained and replaced as necessary. Employees must be given appropriate information and training in its use and employers must ensure that it is correctly used.In section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places it states that people have a duty of care and must ensure they take reasonable steps in all circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animal to the extent required by good practice.This means that as a livery owner you must take positive steps to ensure that your customers care for their animals properly and in particular must provide for the five welfare needs, which are:need for a suitable environmentneed for a suitable dietneed to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patternsneed to be housed with, or apart, from other animalsneed to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.Under the Act animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. A person could therefore be responsible for an animal if they own it or are in charge of it.