The issues surrounding Gas Safety

10 September, 2015
Justin Rose

Justin Rose, has worked at Acoura Consulting since April 2015. Before that he worked for 16 years as an Environmental Health Officer, latterly working on the Food Safety Team at Cardiff Council.

Here Justin gives a quick overview of issues surrounding gas safety and how these can be avoided.

What are the issues Surrounding Gas Safety?

If gas appliances (e.g. ovens, cookers and boilers) are not properly installed and maintained there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Employers need to comply with the relevant legislation to help ensure employee and public safety.

Gas safety is particularly relevant to many Acoura clients in the leisure and hospitality sectors such as hotels, spas, restaurants and pubs where catering activities are undertaken.

What is the relevant legislation surrounding Gas Safety?

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The general duties of the act cover work on gas fittings and this must be done by a competent person.

  • Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Require work on gas fittings to be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register.

What business with catering need to do

  • Gas equipment and services must only be installed and repaired by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Check if an engineer is registered at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or ring 0800 4085500.
  • Gas appliances, flues, pipework and any safety devices should be inspected regularly in accordance with manufacturers instructions. A gas safe engineer can provide advice on frequency based on the installation.
  • An emergency isolation valve or emergency stop button/control must be fitted in the gas supply.
  • There should be a notice displayed next to it to make everyone aware of its location.
  • All catering staff that use gas equipment should be trained in its proper use and how to carry out visual checks for obvious faults.
  • The gas flame should be blue, not yellow. Yellow means there is not enough oxygen and ventilation may not be effective. It may also be caused by a build up of debris on the cooker rings.
  • Equipment should have an inbuilt ignition and pilot light system. If these fail or are not available and there is a need for manual lighting, a taper or appropriate gas igniter used. Never paper, cigarette lighter or matches.
  • There should be sufficient canopy hoods which extend at least 250mm beyond the edge of equipment to ensure effective removal of cooking fumes and heat and provide sufficient air for complete combustion.
  • Any air vents for ventilation purposed must not be blocked.
  • Some systems may need upgrading to an interlocking ventilation canopy if not already in place. A gas safe engineer can advise on this.
  • Ovens and burners must be kept free from debris so require regular cleaning.
  • Cooker hoods and filters require regular cleaning – at least weekly as a minimum.
  • Extract ductwork needs to be cleaned frequently depending on use, ranging from every 3 months to annually.
  • Hoses for commercial equipment should be yellow or white.
  • There should be a CE marking plate for all appliances made after 1996. This conformity marking shows the product complies with appliance safety legislation.

Useful Links

www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cais23.pdf

www.plymouth.gov.uk/gas_safety_in_catering_establishments.pdf

For more information on how Acoura Consulting can help your business with Gas Safety Compliance, please contact us on, 0330 024 0255 or info@acoura.com

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