Thursday, 10 October 2013

Duct Work Cleaning: Ingot Services Gives Health and Safety Advice

Ten Ways to Improve the Health and Safety of Your Commercial Kitchen

Health and safety issues are vital in all workplaces, but there are special rules governing commercial kitchens. Duct work cleaning specialists Ingot Services have put together 10 tips to help ensure your kitchen meets the highest standards of hygiene and safety.

Assess Risks – Carrying out a risk assessment is a legal requirement, but it is also the vital first step in ensuring that the workplace is as safe as possible.

Training – Ensure that staff are fully trained in dealing with all the hazards in the workplace, including any aspects highlighted by the risk assessment. Training must constantly be adapted to any changes in equipment or kitchen layout, as well as any updates in the law. 

Maintaining Equipment – It's estimated that around 65% of accidents in catering are related to maintenance. This emphasises just how important proper upkeep of equipment is, especially in the case of gas and electrical appliances, where there are strict regulations to follow. Be careful during maintenance, as there can be a risk of accidents while this work is being done.

Cleaning Regime – Commercial kitchen cleaning is a vital daily regime, and essential for the health of staff and customers alike. However, the strong chemicals used for cleaning in a commercial kitchen pose hazards, and it is important to use all these substances correctly. Make sure floors are not left wet after cleaning, as many accidents are caused by slippery surfaces.

Fire Safety – All cooking equipment must be correctly installed and operated, including deep fat fryers which can pose particular hazards. Duct work cleaning is also part of fire prevention, as grease in HVAC systems can cause a blaze. You also need to ensure you have appropriate fire extinguishers, a fire blanket and smoke detectors. Sensitive detectors are now available which will not be set off by normal cooking.

Handling Equipment Correctly – Kitchen staff face many hazards during their working day, from chemicals and hot ovens to machinery. Accidents from knives are especially common, so it is vital that staff are properly trained in using and sharpening them. 

Heavy Lifting – Some kitchen equipment is heavy, and injuries can easily be caused by lifting or pulling items. It is important to be careful to avoid staff hurting their backs, and you could consider actions such as using trolleys where possible. 

Storage – Equipment, chemicals and food must all be stored safely and any flammable substances must be kept away from sources of heat. Cleaning chemicals should be kept in their original containers where possible, while knives need to be stored suitably and never left lying on surfaces.

Wear the Right Clothing – Covering or tying back hair in the kitchen isn't just important for hygiene, but also to prevent hair getting caught in machinery or posing a fire hazard. Staff should also wear the right protective clothing when handling dangerous substances.

Ventilation – One of the most vital health and safety measures is to carry out regular duct work cleaning. This will ensure that there is no build-up of dirt and grease which could pose a fire hazard and create hygiene risks. To comply with the law, this work must be done regularly and by professionals. Ingot Services are fully accredited HVAC specialists who can help you ensure that your ventilation system is clean and safe and complies with all relevant regulations.

Duct Work Cleaning  – click here for details about our service.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Duct Work Cleaning: Advice from Ingot Services on Keeping HVAC Systems Clean

Flu Season: The Importance of Clean Ventilation Systems

As the flu season arrives, it is essential to be meticulous about hygiene in order to avoid spreading germs, and duct work cleaning is an aspect of this that must not be forgotten.

Every winter, many of us have flu jabs at the start of the season. These are provided on the NHS for older people and those who suffer from various health conditions. Small children are now also being offered a routine immunisation via a nasal spray. In addition, some employers provide injections for their workforce and it is possible to have an injection privately at a chemist's. 

There are also annual advertising campaigns advising people to be careful about hygiene, for instance by washing hands frequently and throwing away tissues rather than leaving them lying around. Recent outbreaks of swine flu have raised awareness of how vital these measures are and there is an increased knowledge that surfaces can harbour germs and pass them on to other people. 

To minimise this risk, sanitiser gels are used in many workplaces, especially in hospitals and health clinics, but also in offices and factories. Some people even carry a bottle of gel around for extra reassurance. Wrapping up warmly, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and giving up smoking are additional ways to boost health in the flu season.

Workplace Hygiene to Guard Against Disease

At the same time as emphasising personal health and hygiene, it is also important to ensure the workplace itself is spotlessly clean and that germs and bacteria are not being spread around. Daily cleaning routines need to be carried out carefully and, in premises such as commercial kitchens, regular deep cleaning is also vital. Allowing any build-up of grease can all too easily let bacteria breed. 

Installing ventilation systems will boost to health by raising the air quality in a workplace. However, it is essential to realise that, if HVAC systems are not maintained properly, they can carry cold and flu viruses and spread them to other people. More serious illnesses, such as superbugs, can also be spread via ventilation pipework.

Another problem is that if dust and dirt are allowed to build up in ductwork systems, these can also lead to allergy symptoms and sinus or respiratory problems, which can make it harder to fight off colds and other infections, including flu. This means that duct work cleaning is vital to remove the risks of spreading dirt and illness. It is also important this is done regularly and professionally to avoid any build-up of debris and maintain a high standard of cleanliness. There is a legal requirement for all HVAC systems to be cleaned every two years, but in some types of building this needs to be done more often, depending on the type of business and the level of use.

About Ingot Services

If you want your ventilation system cleaned as the flu season approaches, Ingot Services are experts in duct work cleaning and provide a professional and reliable service to customers in Suffolk and across the UK. We will advise you on drawing up a schedule for cleaning your HVAC system regularly, clear filters in between full cleans, and provide you with the paperwork you need for your records.

Duct Work Cleaning  – click here to find out more.