Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Chemical Safety in the Hospitality Sector

Photo shows a hotelCleaning products and chemicals are probably one of the most common hazardous substances used in the hospitality sector. Apart from sharp equipment in kitchens that presents a risk, chemicals also present many hazards such as burns, skin irritation and respiratory harm. To minimise these risks, proper training, risk assessment and chemical storage needs to be undertaken. Below are some top tips on how to handle chemicals safely.

Training and COSHH

The first step to avoid chemical hazards is to educate staff in proper handling techniques. Employees should never underestimate the importance of COSHH assessments and should ensure all substances which are hazardous are supplied with a COSHH and safety data sheets, including sufficient information and instructions on how to use these chemicals safely.

COSHH training is needed because it enables employees to identify, measure and control exposure to harmful substances. As a result, this can help safeguard your staff. This supports effective management and creation of a safer workplace for employees through better understanding and compliance with health and safety needs.

Clear labelling

One of the key steps in identifying hazardous chemical substances and mixtures is to review the information about them provided by suppliers in the form of labels and safety data sheets.

Each chemical should be clearly labelled to provide staff with proper handling and mixing instructions. By reading the label of a chemical you can significantly reduce mixing and handling mishap. Trigger spray bottles also need to have labels that state what chemical is in the bottle and the hazards of the chemical.

Chemical storage

How and where you store chemicals can have a big impact on your health and safety. Storage rooms should be sufficient with space, be well-lit and ventilated. Chemicals should not be stored near food products and should be kept away from items used to prepare and cook food.

Shelves in the storeroom should be sturdy and staff should ensure that chemicals are not overcrowded or stored above eye-level to ensure that product can be retrieved for use easily without risk of spillages.

Leaking cans and containers must be removed and replaced, and any spills wiped up and cleaned away.

A well organised storeroom is key to safe storage. Don’t forget to put up clear signs to designate the storage area.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

To protect against chemical harm, it is important to use the right PPE for each task. For example, rubber gloves should be used when handling products of a corrosive or skin irritant nature. Likewise rubber boots or special footwear should be worn when these products are used on floors.

When spraying harsh chemicals, face masks may be necessary to protect the face and against inhaling the fine mist, especially important for those with asthma.

When working with chemicals, the effectiveness of PPE depends on employees using it correctly and for the tasks the PPE has been provided for. The correct size, fit and use by employees are also an vital detail towards ensuring the effectiveness of PPE.

Article provided by:

Go Back