Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ductwork Cleaning - Ensuring Fire Safety in the Workplace

Ensuring Fire Safety in the Workplace and the Importance of Ductwork Cleaning

It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure fire safety in the workplace, and ductwork cleaning experts Ingot Services have put together some advice on making sure you safeguard your staff and customers from fire hazards.

Most small and medium-sized businesses, including offices, shops, restaurants, clubs and pubs, are covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and need to comply with its requirements. As an employer, you are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and need to consider the needs of everybody who visits the premises, including customers and any visitors as well as your workforce.

Undertaking the initial assessment includes identifying any possible fire hazards, such as cooking equipment, ventilation systems and any areas where waste, such as paper or food, is collected for disposal. You also need to identify any individuals who may be at particular risk, whether because of their job, as in the case of kitchen staff, or because they are especially vulnerable – for instance, if your business has elderly or disabled customers who might take longer to get out of the building. 

After working out what the risks are, the next step is to reduce or remove the risks wherever possible, for instance by ensuring that flammable items are not stored near to heat sources. Grease build-up in ventilation systems is another possible fire hazard which you need to guard against. Ductwork cleaning specialists Ingot offer a professional service to ensure that your HVAC system is kept clean and safe, as well as keeping proper records which will ensure that you meet all legal requirements in this area. Kitchen extract cleaning will be needed more frequently in some premises, such as restaurants or canteens, and we can advise on how often it should be carried out in your particular business or organisation.

Fire precautions will vary depending on your type of business and how the building is laid out, but in every case it is vital that you have a suitable alarm system in place to alert people if a blaze does start. Other essential steps are installing fire extinguishers – you will normally need a minimum of one on each floor, and may require more depending on the size of your premises – and working out safe routes for people to leave the building by if and when the alarm does sound. Staff must also be informed about the arrangements and trained in how to react in the event of a fire.

Once you have drawn up a fire risk assessment, it will need to be reviewed at regular intervals and also if there are any alterations to your building or changes to the way your business operates, such as a new shift pattern. You can keep up to date with the latest legal requirements by visiting the Government website on fire safety in the workplace. Local fire and rescue authorities have the responsibility for inspecting premises to check that requirements are being met. 

About Ingot Services

Ingot Services is HVAC registered and specialises in professional ductwork cleaning and commercial kitchen cleaning. We can provide you with a top quality service putting health and safety first in everything, and advising you on how to meet all legal requirements. 

Ductwork Cleaning  – contact Ingot now for more details.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Advice on Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings

Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings – Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services Explains What They Mean For Your Business

Duct work cleaning specialists Ingot are keen to advise and support customers in all aspects of their business. We know that Food Standards Agency hygiene ratings are a particular concern for catering businesses and food retailers, especially as the ratings are now shown on the door. This means customers may decide whether or not to eat at a restaurant or buy takeaway food on the basis of the rating shown.

The Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme (FRHS) scores are decided by food safety officers visiting your premises, who carry out a series of checks including looking at how hygienically food is handled at all stages, from preparation through to serving and storage. They also assess the building's structure and condition, including everything from its layout to your regular cleaning regime, and how well your business keeps records on its actions to ensure food safety.

Checks on the building's condition include an examination of the ventilation system and its cleanliness. It is therefore vital to carry out regular duct work cleaning and to employ a specialist contractor such as Ingot, who will ensure the ventilation system meets top standards and keep proper records to satisfy the official requirements.

Once your business has been assessed, it will be given a food hygiene rating. The top rating available is 5, or “very good”, meaning that you have achieved high standards across the board, and this is the rating all catering businesses should be determined to gain and maintain. The lower ratings range from 4, or “good”, meaning you are working on the right lines but need to take action in some areas, right down to 0, or “urgent improvement necessary”. 

If you do not receive the top rating of 5, the food safety officer who has carried out the inspection should explain why, pinpointing any problems which have been noticed and suggesting what you can do to improve. This could include making repairs to your building, improving your kitchen extract cleaning arrangements or ensuring that staff follow more stringent hygiene procedures when working with food. 

The local authority will then carry out further checks to ensure that the improvements are carried out. Normally inspections are carried out at intervals ranging between six months to two years, depending on the type of business, but if you have been given a low rating and then make immediate improvements you can ask for a repeat inspection to be carried out more quickly, so that your rating can be raised as soon as possible.

Businesses are encouraged to display their hygiene ratings on the doors of the premises and this will attract customers if the sticker shows a top rating of 5, but may put them off if a lower rating is shown. They could also be put off if they don't see any rating displayed, wondering why this is and perhaps assuming you have a low score that you don't want known. Bear in mind that it is also possible for prospective customers to check out your rating online, via the Scores on the Doors website, before deciding to pay a visit. 

Businesses need to keep up to date with the latest rules on food standards and you can do this by regularly visiting the official Government website to check if any regulations have been updated.

About Ingot Services

When you are seeking professional duct work cleaning specialists to ensure the highest standards, Ingot Services are the people to call. We have over 25 years experience and keep full records as well as issuing you with certificates and advising you on the best cleaning schedule for your ventilation system.