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Is your company applying these nine health and safety rules for canteens, kitchens and ablution areas?

by , 06 June 2013
As an employer, you must provide and maintain a working environment that's safe and without risk to the health of your employees. This includes your duties regarding housekeeping. Read on to discover nine rules your company must apply when it comes to canteens, kitchens and ablution areas to reduce health and safety risks.

When it comes to complying the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), you best keep all areas of your workplace in mind. And this means you have ensure your company is adhering to the health and safety rules that apply to canteens, kitchens and ablution areas too.

'You need to clean these areas more regularly and very carefully. They are areas where there's a high potential for transferring bacteria, diseases and germs,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.

It's crucial you prevent bacteria, diseases and germs transferring from employee to employee and from surfaces to employees. These surfaces include crockery and cutlery, as well as basins, foot baths, showers, toilets and changing areas.

You can reduce these risks in your company by following these nine rules:

Nine health and safety rules for canteens, kitchens and ablution areas

  1. Clean ablution areas with warm soapy water at least once a day.
  2. Where there's high traffic of employees using the area like in a kitchen, clean it as often as possible, usually after each shift has used the facilities.
  3. Sanitise ablution areas at least once a week.
  4. Deep clean ablution areas at least once a year, but twice a year is recommended.
  5. Take swabs of all surfaces every three months to see if there are bacteria or germs.
  6. Send the swabs for testing. If your company has a laboratory on site, you can do the testing in-house. If you don't, 'you need to send the swabs to be analysed at a registered laboratory for that purpose,' says the Advisor. A list of these labs is available from the Department of Labour or from your Occupational Hygienist Service Provider. Remember, if the results of the testing show there's a positive presence of bacteria, you need to desanitise the area immediately.
  7. Each employee should each have his own soap and towel. Don't allow sharing, it's unhygienic.
  8. Each employee should have his own locker with a lock attached.
  9. Sanitise lockers once a month and deep-cleaned once a year.

Apply these nine health and safety rules to keep your canteens, kitchens and ablution areas free of bacteria today. Doing so will not only keep your employees safe from common health and safety risks, it could help you see a decrease in absenteeism from illness as well.

Turn to chapter W03 of your Health and Safety Advisor to read more on how you can upgrade your office cafeteria and kitchen.



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