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Whose responsibility is it to improve and maintain the condition of the canteen?

by , 03 October 2013
Canteens not only provide a place where your workforce can relax and have their meals, it's also a place where bacteria and germs can grow. So whose responsibility is it to improve and maintain the condition of the canteen? Read on to find out so you can comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

If you've provided a canteen in your workplace, but aren't sure of who should maintain it between you and your employees, the Health&Safety Advisor has you covered.

Who must maintain the condition of the canteen between you and your employees?

According to the Health&Safety Advisor, all members of staff must be involved in keeping the canteen in good condition, but it's your responsibility as an employer to set up the appropriate space and facilities for the canteen.

Remember, a canteen in poor condition can affect the quality of your workers' meals and indirectly affect productivity and employee motivation. A canteen in poor condition also means you're in contravention with the OHSA.

To ensure your canteen is safe canteen, you must:

  • Ensure there's sufficient natural or artificial lighting.
  • Install ceiling fans or air conditioning to ensure the canteen is well ventilated, cool and comfortable.
  • Arrange tables and chairs with good housekeeping principles in mind and in an orderly fashion.
  • Display canteen rules and regulation to inform the diners regarding:
  1. How to behave, for example, to wash hands before meals
  2. Operating times of the canteen
  3. Queuing rules, first come first serve
  4.  Process of ordering and receiving food (have a simple map showing the direction)
  5. Cleaning procedures
  6. Locations of waste bins for leftover food, cans, plastic bottles/knives/forks, paper plates, and polystyrene containers. All these items should go into separate designated waste bins for recycling.

Remember, if your facilities and provision of food can cause harm to your employees in any way, you could be fined, sentenced to prison and even lose your business. So make sure your staff keeps your canteen in good condition.
 

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