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Hospitality Sector Must Now Prioritise Compliance, Say Experts

Hospitality
27 July 2021
 

With the end of lockdown, those within the hospitality sector will be preparing for full capacity once again. However, facilities experts are urging businesses to pay close attention to compliance regulations, as many properties may have gone without inspection during the lockdown period.

 

“New inspections may be necessary to ensure businesses remain within the law.”

 

– Jeremy Harrison
Managing Director, MSL Property Care Services 

 

Jeremy Harrison, Managing Director at MSL Property Care Services explained that “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.” Some of the key maintenance checks the hospitality sector must keep on top of include water systems, HVAC and electrical.

 

Legionella Risks

 

Carrying out thorough inspections of water systems is vital for ensuring the safety of anyone on the premises. Venues that 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. Rinnai, a global leader in gas appliance manufacturing, has endeavoured to shine a light on these and explain why continuous hot flow water systems are a low-risk option.

In October 2020 we also took a look at SOCOTEC’s Water team recommendations for how you can further ensure the safety of your building’s water systems through the implementation of a Water Safety Plan.

 

Clean Air and Filtration Systems

 

Air quality is hugely important for both staff and facility users when it comes to comfort and health. COVID-19 has brought this to our attention, but it has always and will always be important for multiple reasons, which we have covered in depth.

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:

  1. Over 3kg Refrigerant – check every 12 months
  2. Over 30kg Refrigerant – check every 6 months
  3. Over 300kgs Refrigerant – check every 3 months

 

Electrical Compliance and Maintenance

 

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 Electricity at Work Regulations state that no electrical equipment should be used when its capability or strength is weakened. Annual portable appliance tests must be carried out by professionals before use.

Experts suggest implementing a planned maintenance schedule to keep on top of compliance within hospitality venues. This will ensure all aspects of the facility remain safe for use, and within the law. FMs can find Electrical Testing and Compliance services in the Spotted Cow Business Directory.

 

Picture: a hospitality worker with a notepad.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 27 July 2021

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