There are many demands every day in catering but neglecting to manage health and safety compliance could prove injurious or in the worst cases, fatal. As soon as an issue is noticed, by any member of your team, it must be dealt with effectively.
From the utensils used to cooking appliances maintenance and safe transit around the kitchen, an impediment to health and safety in catering will impact on your employees, customers and your health and safety audit results.
Whilst each employee must receive health and safety training when you first employ them please do not rely on this for their entire time with you. A refresher course is recommended every three years.
Health and safety compliance is the responsibility of everyone involved in the catering environment and it is imperative that employees understand the necessity to abide by the rules, what legislation requires and how they can optimise health and safety in catering.
Staff may have habits or methods which work in a domestic environment but fall short of legislation so they need to be re-educated to stop them posing a risk. It can be uncomfortable for management to address sensitive issues and constantly repeat instructions not to do something because it is unsafe. Being informed within a training session makes the information somehow more compelling and authoritative.
Employees can’t fool the law as they may try to do their management and supervisors, during a health and safety audit their habits will come to light so post training please ensure that you oversee and control processes so that habits can’t reappear.
For example, throwing a coat down on a chair may seem like an innocuous action, something that an employee might do at home, but if it’s a trip hazard to colleagues it fails health and safety compliance.
A knife being used to butter bread is knocked on to the floor. At home, the employee might wipe it on a cloth and resume their task. This is a health and safety risk, and should be stopped.
Many people use the “if it was on the floor for less than 5 seconds use it” rule but in a work environment this could lead to legal action and a loss of reputation if it can be proved that a consumer fell ill with food poisoning linked to your premises.
Health and safety training specialists including Food Alert in London offer online, in work and in classroom courses for individuals and groups. An investment in training costs much less than legal proceedings or health and safety audit fines. It also delivers peace of mind.
Health and safety training courses include:
- Health and safety induction.
- Health and safety awareness.
- Level 2, level 3 and level 4 awards in health and safety in the workplace. (3 and 4 are aimed at management, owners and supervisors.)
- Overview for managers in food safety and health and safety.
- Level 2 in environmental principles.
Don’t take risks, take action long before a health and safety audit, not after an incident.