In part 2, we’re going to look at some of the broader health and safety aspects, from food safety and pest control regulations to gas and asbestos legislation.
Under food safety legislation, namely the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995, it is the legal duty of the operator of a food business to maintain food equipment and premises in a clean condition.
Businesses will need to show that reasonable precautions were taken to ensure hygiene standards. Compliance will depend on proper access to ventilation systems and cooking equipment, the correct cleaning standards being met, particularly TR19, adequate monitoring and ensuring that any corrective actions are taken.
It is important to make sure all natural and mechanical ventilation systems are working effectively.
They will need to be compliant with BS 6173:2009 Specification for installation and maintenance of gas-fired catering appliances for use in all types of catering establishments (2nd and 3rd family gases).
When they were originally installed they should have been fitted with an appropriate interlocking system between any mechanical ventilation system and the operation of gas appliances so that failure of the system causes the gas supply to be shut off. Manual bypasses are not permitted.
All ductwork cleaning should be in accordance with the HVCA’s TR19: Guide to good practice cleanliness of ventilation systems. This guide includes a useful risk assessment to determine cleaning regimes and provides guidance on how to clean systems and verification methods. It also recommends, as a minimum, an annual inspection and testing of the physical condition and cleanliness of air distribution systems.
It is good practice to employ the services of an auditor to check compliance is maintained and to ensure the cleaning contractor is complying with TR19.
It’s not a legal requirement to have a pest control contract but it is a legal requirement that you manage pest control. Especially in catering and hospitality premises.
However, an external pest control contractor won’t be able to do their job without ‘in-house controls’.
Whenever food is prepared on the premises it’s always good practice to engage the services of a reputable pest control contractor that’s a member of the British Pest Control Association.
This can be a complex area. However, the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8 for the Control of Legionella, details the legislative requirements.
This applies to the control of legionella bacteria in any trade, business or other undertaking where water is used or stored. Since Legionella is transmitted through inhaling water droplets, this legislation covers any ventilation and extraction systems where water droplets may be located.
A specific risk assessment is required by a specialist competent engineer. Typically there will be daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks detailed in the risk assessment. The findings and control measures detailed in the risk assessment should then be implemented.
Many of these tasks can be undertaken by the site staff (if they are trained and competent). Specialist contractors are typically engaged for any quarterly or annual tasks and the risk assessment should be undertaken every two years.
Any work with gas appliances is subject to Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR) and must be carried out by a competent, Gas Safe Registered operative with valid certificates for the equipment and gas work involved.
As a general rule annual inspections are required with repairs carried out as necessary.
There are specific regulations for operators of systems that use Hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs).
F-Gas Regs 2007 ensure that measures are taken so that these gases don’t escape into the atmosphere. All systems must be surveyed to assess the amount of HFC present, which will dictate the maintenance and service levels required to ensure compliance.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 updated previous asbestos regulations and impose a duty to manage asbestos risks.
Compliance is dependent on finding out if asbestos is present, although buildings constructed after 2000 are very unlikely to contain any asbestos containing materials (ACMs).
A competent asbestos consultant can undertake an asbestos management survey to identify any ACMs. If any intrusive works or a refit is planned, a Refurbishment Asbestos Survey will need to be undertaken before any works commence.
If any actions need to be taken based on the findings of the asbestos survey, an asbestos management plan should be written.
A competent consultant can review the asbestos policy and management plan once every 6 to 12 months and keep all records up to date.
In these compliance guides, we’ve only highlighted some of the areas that mean a business can stay compliant. Businesses in specific sectors will have special legislation that only relates to their industry.
Luckily, employing the services of a commercial compliance specialist will ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to know precisely which regulations are most relevant to a business.
Efficient management of compliance activity also means that organisations can save both time and money, allowing them to focus on running their business without the headache of worrying if the company is compliant.
As well as scheduling and carrying out tests and inspecting and servicing systems, a commercial compliance specialist should be able to advise clients of any repairs or remedial works and produce relevant documentation in plenty of time.
Some may be able to offer a help desk service, giving full visibility of all compliance tasks for single properties or across multiple sites. Here at TPG, we can make life even easier with our new mobile maintenance app and the web-based compliance module on our CAFM software.
If you’d like to find out more about our compliance services, get in touch today.
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