The last thing any employer wants to deal with is the tedium of Health and Safety – but boring or not, it is an essential part of your obligation to the wellbeing of both your staff and customers.
We have already covered the issue of noise on this blog; see here to refresh your memory.
One of the most important parts of dealing with accidents and injuries in the workplace is implementing measures to prevent them in the first place. Identifying potential problems and taking steps to safeguard against them is known as Risk Assessment, and is in fact required by law. You don’t have to be an expert, or hire an expert to perform these checks. The Health and Safety Executive has a simple guide here to allow you to assess the risks yourself – it would be a good idea to update your Risk Assessment regularly, to keep it relevant and in line with any changes in the workplace. Here are few risks specific to the hospitality industry:
- Changing Kegs and Barrels – As the majority of cellar systems are highly pressurized, changing a barrel can be very dangerous. Make sure you explain to any staff who will be performing this task about the hazards, and show them how to turn the gas off for the individual lines.
- Gas Leaks – Beer gas is Carbon Dioxide, which is extremely hazardous: especially in a confined and sealed area such as a cellar. Make sure you have CO2 detectors in your cellar and that they are regular checked for functionality.
- Slips and Trips – If you’ve ever tried to carry a couple of full pints to your friends, you know the balancing act your customers are performing! Make sure all spillage is cleared up promptly, and that you have enough wet floor signs to hand.
You should have appropriate First Aid supplies and personnel available. Further information on First Aid in the workplace, including a leaflet on how to assess your legal obligations as an employer are available here. Training courses for this and for COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) usually only take a day and are well worth the added security they provide.