Keeping Compliance on the Menu
Jeremy Harrison, managing director of MSL Property Care Services, explains why the UK's hospitality sector needs to pay attention to facility compliance following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
With the end of lockdown now a reality in the United Kingdom, those within the hospitality sector will be preparing for full capacity once again. However, businesses need to pay close attention to compliance regulations, as many properties may have gone without inspection during the lockdown period.
Property compliance is hugely important for keeping staff and visitors safe, and encompasses everything from hygiene to energy and lighting.
Many bars, restaurants and hotels may have completed thorough property checks for the first reopening back in April, but certificates of compliance may have now expired, and new inspections may be necessary to ensure businesses remain within the law.
Remaining compliant also requires restaurant operators and operators of hospitality venues to undertake key maintenance checks, and the following in particular:
Carrying out thorough inspections of water systems is vital for ensuring the safety of anyone on the premises. Venues which have been closed for long periods of time throughout lockdown, may be at higher risk of developing the deadly Legionella bacteria, especially with the current warmer weather.
Legionella forms in still or stagnant water at temperatures between 20 to 45°C and should water droplets be ingested or inhaled from contaminated taps, pools or air conditioning systems, people can develop severe Legionnaires’ disease.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations state that the singular responsible duty-holder must carry out regular checks and control water systems. This person must have prior experience with Legionella checks and know how to carry out operational procedures.
Air quality is hugely important for both staff and facility users when it comes to comfort and health.
Under regulation 6 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation, all enclosed spaces must have a sufficient quantity of fresh air and to ensure HVAC systems are running efficiently regular inspections are vital.
The European Union’s F-gas regulation states the following should take place:
- Over 3kg Refrigerant – check every 12 months
- Over 30kg Refrigerant – check every 6 months
- Over 300kgs Refrigerant – check every 3 months
Electrical compliance is extremely important to mitigate risk and stay within the law. Over the lockdown period, it is likely that many electrical appliances certificates of compliance may have expired, meaning they must be renewed and inspected by professionals to be safe for use.
The UK's Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) state that no electrical equipment should be used when its capability or strength is weakened. Annual portable appliance tests (PAT) must be carried out by professionals before use.
Implementing a planned maintenance schedule to keep on top of compliance within hospitality venues will ensure your facility remains safe and operates within the law.