In a commercial or factory kitchen, there are large extractor fans which gather grease on a large scale. The build-up of grease presents a dangerous fire hazard, which is why it is important to have them professionally cleaned. In some cases, proof that they are being cleaned properly may be required for insurance purposes. Ventilation and extraction systems in a commercial kitchen will quickly build up with grease, dirt and grime due to the nature of the environment they are in and that is why it is vital to have them cleaned by a professional cleaning contractor. Special training and equipment are required to carry out this type of work.
Air supply and extraction systems are found in commercial and industrial workplace environments. Dust builds up within these large systems over time and that can create a few problems for a business. Firstly, any large build-up of dust and debris presents an increased fire risk and should be removed as part of the company fire safety measures. Also, particularly when the build-up inevitably becomes moist, it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould. The bacteria will travel through the systems, being spread throughout the commercial property. This will cause illness to those that spend time within the property which is a serious healthcare concern for business owners. In warm and humid environments this process will happen even faster.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the people within your company and there is various legislation regarding this. Further information can be found online on the following legislation;
Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
This states that employers or persons concerned with the premises owe the “common duty of care” both to employees and others who may use or visit the premises. They are required to exercise this duty “so far as is reasonably practical”.
The Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992.
States that “Effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air remains intact”.
The associated Approved Code of Practice gives “practical advice on how to comply with the law”. For ventilation, it states in ACOP6 (52): Regulation 6, that mechanical ventilation systems (including air conditioning systems) should be regularly and adequately cleaned. They should also be properly tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept free from anything which may contaminate the air.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations
This requires an employer to make a formal assessment of health risk from hazardous substances, which includes human pathogens or any specks of dust present in substantial quantities in the air. Regulation 7 (1) requires the employer to prevent exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health, or where this is not practical, to ensure that any exposure is adequately controlled.
What does this mean?
It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure they are protecting the health and wellbeing of their staff. Appropriate vent and duct cleaning is an essential part of business and property maintenance. By using a reliable and professional cleaning company to carry this out regularly, you can ensure that you are adhering to regulations and not jeopardising the productivity of the workforce and risking fire or illness.
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