Carrying Out a Risk Assessment
We provide comprehensive industrial cleaning services for commercial and non-commercial kitchens to customers throughout the UK. We have a lot of experience in industrial kitchen cleaning for a wide range of businessesincluding schools, local authorities, restaurants, hotels and sports centres.
An industrial cleaning service deep cleans a commercial kitchen to keep it clean and hygienic and free from hazardous substances. It includes air duct cleaning and grease extract cleaning to maintain healthyair flow and remove grease build up which can cause fires. Without the benefit of industrial cleaning services, kitchens put themselves at risk of breaching health and safety laws, which are there to protect staff and the public from harm. This can lead to hefty fines, invalid insurance, damage to a business’ reputation and in the worst case, business closure.
Our services include kitchen deep cleaning, duct cleaning, kitchen extract cleaning and commercial equipment cleaning. On completion of each clean, we provide your businesses with the relevantpaperwork, for insurance purposes.
Before determining a kitchen’s cleaning requirements, it is vital that the owner carries out a full risk assessment. This guide explains the process of how to do this.
What is a Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment examines all areas in the work perimeter which could cause an employee or visitor to be at risk of injury. It looks at who is at risk and how and what solutions can be implemented to address identified problems.
Who Should Carry Out a Risk Assessment?
Anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas may be designated to carry out a risk assessment. The ‘responsible person’ may be an employer, health and safety manager or business owner. In many premises the responsible person is immediately obvious, but there are occasions where a number of people have joint responsibility.
How Often Should They be Reviewed?
A risk assessment should be carried out once a year and give a detailed assessment of what the problems are and how they should be rectified. The findings should be actioned and the process up-dated annually to identify any new risks.
Where Should Risk Assessment Documentation be Kept?
Risk assessment documentation should be kept in either the office or staff room. It should be readily accessible by employees so they are fully aware of the procedures and know the recommended safe practice. Another signed copy should be kept by the manager.
Who Will Look at Risk Assessment Documentation?
People who will look at a company’s risk assessment documentation include staff, as they need to be made aware of the risks they face whilst working and anyone who provides staff health and safety training.
Lawyers and insurance companies may also need to see it if a claim is ever made against the company. In the case of a serious workplace accident, the health and safety executive may check the documentation to see that the risks had been properly identified and the correct actions had been taken.
What Does a Commercial Kitchen Risk Assessment Consider?
A commercial kitchen risk assessment will need to look at the following: fire risks, risks from gas sources and LPG cylinders, risks from chemicals/hazardous substances, preventing accidents such as trips and slips, cuts and burns, danger to staff from poor air quality, how to avoid accidents from kitchen machinery and risk of injuries from manual handling. It must also look at first aid requirements and how these will be met.
Gas Sources and LPG Cylinders
A kitchen risk assessment must also identity gas sources and LPG cylinders and consider what action needs to be taken to protect staff and visitors.
LPG (propane or butane) is a colourless liquid which quickly evaporates into a gas. If the gas is mixed with air and comes into contact with a source of ignition, it can burn or explode.
Although it is stored in strong, pressurised containers it is possible that leaks can occur in vulnerable areas, for instance through the valve at the top or pipe connections which can be prone to knocks.
The risk assessor must check cylinders are stored safely, upright and handled with care. Steps should be taken to ensure rubbish, or anything that would cause a fire is kept well away from the cylinders and smoking is not permitted while changing cylinders. Cylinders must only be fitted by someone who is trained to do this and the cylinder should have all the necessary safety devices to protect from leaks.
If a fire or gas leak occurs everyone in the building is at risk. The emergency plan should include the procedure for getting everyone out safely and alerting the emergency services.
A study has revealed slips, trips and falls account for a third of all major injuries reported by employees each year. These cost employers more than £512 million in staff absences and loss of production.
They can also lead to costly claims against a business, which are not fully covered by insurance. Although falls are common, they can be avoided and the risks minimised by taking the right steps.
Anyone is at risk of slips and falls. Floors and corridors should be kept clear so there is easy access in and around the kitchen area. Potential hazards include uneven floors and items left on the floor such as delivery boxes. The risk assessment must identify these issues and create a plan for minimising the risks such as creating a safe storage area.
Floors should be kept clean and dry and free of any grease, food or liquids. Any spillages should be mopped up immediately. Condensation on floors is also a common hazard in the kitchen and needs to be tackled instantly.
Food Preparation Equipment
Burns, cuts and scalds are common kitchen injuries which can be caused by kitchen equipment. The risk assessment must consider sources of nasty accidents, such as cuts from sharp knives or burns from cooking equipment and identify ways to minimise the risks.
For example, safety procedures should be followed when using sharp objects and to prevent burns and scalds, cooking equipment should be used with extreme caution and good training provided.
Anyone under 18 using food machinery should be fully assessed before they start work to find out their experience, maturity and awareness of risks. This is to comply with regulation 19 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The risk assessor should look at all of the risks involved in handling heavy items, such as equipment or delivery boxes. Some things can be extremely difficult to manoeuvre as they are so heavy and cause muscular skeletal problems.
If possible, handling that involves a risk of injury should be avoided under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. If not, training should be provided so that staff are aware of health and safety guidelines on how to lift objects – such as asking a colleague to assist them or using a lifting device such as a trolley.
The risk assessment will cover maintaining a kitchen’s air quality through the proper cleaning and maintenance of the building’s air ducts, to protect the health of staff from poor air quality and airborne illnesses.
The risk assessor will identify who is at risk and outline what steps to take to prevent this – for example scheduling regular cleaning of the air ducts. It is advised these are cleaned once every two years to get rid of the build-up of dust and debris and remove any contaminants such as viruses, mould and bacteria.
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