Argyll and Bute Council checks unsafe gas installations in catering premises

Published Date: 

14 Jan 2013 - 15:34

Environmental Health inspectors from Argyll and Bute Council are carrying out checks on the safety of gas installations in catering premises. The checks will be carried out during routine food safety inspections. Inspectors will be looking to see that businesses have gas safety records dated within the last year and that any defects have been put right by the business owner.

This initiative follows on from a pilot exercise completed out last year which found that:

  • 60% of catering premises checked had no record of the inspection of appliances or ventilation systems
  • 33% of records that did exist were out of date, and,
  • Where safety defects had been recorded, 50% had not been corrected

Speaking in support of the checks, Councillor Sandy Taylor, Chairman of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee said, “Gas safety tends to be a neglected subject but it is vital that caterers comply with the law and maintain their gas installations in a safe condition. We know there are not as many gas engineers working with catering equipment in Argyll and Bute as we would like and we are working with the industry to encourage more companies to get the qualifications to do this.”

Unsafe gas cookers, ovens and extraction systems can cause health problems for workers as well as unpleasant, hot and humid working conditions. In the worst case, fire and explosion can happen if equipment is not installed and maintained by competent gas engineers.

There are strict rules to ensure that gas cookers, ovens, boilers and ventilations systems are safe and do not present a risk to the safety of workers or the public. All businesses are required to have work done only by competent gas engineers. Gas installations need to be inspected on an annual basis by a competent engineer and any defects made good. The engineer will leave a gas safety record which must be kept on site for inspection.

A competent gas engineer is one who is listed on the Gas Safe Register and their registration includes catering installations. Also, the engineer must be competent to work on the correct type of gas – natural gas or LPG.

Businesses can find properly-qualified gas engineers at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or by telephoning Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500.

The council’s Regulatory Services has produced new guidance for caterers on keeping their gas installations safe, and this can be downloaded from our website:

 http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/gas-safety-catering-premises

You can also contact Regulatory Services on 01546 605519 or email envhealth@argyll-bute.gov.uk.