Restaurant operators warned to choose gas engineers carefully

Gas hob burner

Manufacturer and supplier, Mechline Developments, has pledged its support for Gas Safety Week to raise awareness of gas safety and remind the foodservice and hospitality industry of their responsibility to keep staff and customers safe from the dangers posed by gas appliances.

The sixth annual Gas Safety Week will see organisations from across the UK work together to encourage all gas consumers to arrange an annual gas safety check. Mechline notes that poorly maintained gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, said: “It’s great to have the support of Mechline for Gas Safety Week. By working together we can reach more people and help to reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances that could be lurking in the UK.  We know from our own investigations that around one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe, meaning far too many people are victims of preventable gas related incidents.”

With HSE figures showing that there were 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years Mechline, believes it is vital that operators make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year, by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It added that anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered is working illegally.

Kristian Roberts, marketing manager at Mechline, said: “Choosing the right engineer and the right equipment can make all the difference when it comes to gas safety. If you are a food business operator, you must have a suitable maintenance scheme in place for all gas appliances. You are required to allow only a gas engineer who is Gas Safe Registered and competent to work on the particular gas appliances.”

There are four different categories which engineers can gain certificates for to work on particular gas equipment:

Commercial Catering Range Cookers (COMCAT 1) – this includes open/solid top ranges, combination ovens, forced convention ovens, natural convection ovens, boiling pans, gas-fired dish washers, ancillary equipment such as pizza ovens, tandoors and heated woks.

Commercial Catering Pressure/Expansion (COMCAT 2) – includes pressure steamers and pressurised steaming ovens.

Commercial Catering Fat & Pressure Fryers (COMCAT 3) – includes deep fat fryers and pressure fryers, griddles, simulated charcoal grills, grills over/under fired and salamander grills.

Fish and Chip Ranges (COMCAT 4) – commercial gas catering fish and chip ranges.

There are also additional specific qualifications for working with liquefied petroleum gas.

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