As a business owner or manager, it’s vitally important to ensure that you’re running a business that is operating safely and in accordance with Australian regulations.
As a busy café or restaurant owner your priority is to keep your customers coming back and to keep your staff happy. Sometimes this can become overshadowed by the day to day operation of running a busy café and restaurant.
What can happen if you don’t maintain your compliance?
- Customers may feel unsafe and turned off.
- Staff may feel they are not valued and look for other employment.
- State safety regulators, may fine or close you down.
- Insurance premiums may increase or may not cover you in the event of an accident or fire.
- Businesses, owners and managers can faces fines up to $245,000 (in Victoria) for not maintaining their Essential Safety Measures.
Here are a few tips from Jim’s Test and Tag on how you can maintain compliance for cafes or restaurants.
1 Electrical Appliances
“If it doesn’t look right don’t use it”. The best way to minimise faulty appliances and leads in your business is to have your equipment Test and Tagged. AS3760 recommends that a competent person should carry out regular inspections and tests electrical appliances that used in the work place.
2 Coffee Machines
Ensure the electrical wiring system will cope running large coffee machines. The larger coffee machines generally require and 15amp or 20 amp circuitry.
3 General fires
Ensure you have portable fire equipment serviced every 6 months. The annual service will include a survey which ensures your equipment is correct for the type of fire and that it is located correctly.
4 Deep Fryers
At a minimum a Wet Chemical fire extinguisher should be accessible to the staff member who is using the deep fryers. A fire blanket is always a good back up, as it can smother the fire.
5 Emergency lighting
If there is a fire, smoke maybe too thick to see through or there is no power to illuminate the exits. Exit and emergency lights become critical in these situations. They provide 90 minutes of lighting that will illuminate an exit path for your staff and customers. 6 monthly services are required to ensure their batteries will maintain illumination for 90 minutes.
6 Building Exits
Always make sure that exit paths are clear and are maintained that way. Doors will open freely and are not obstructed by any obstacles. You just don’t know when you may need to escape in a hurry.
7 Nicks, cuts and burns
Having a fully stocked First Aid kit guarantees that you have provisions to look after any minor accident in the workplace.
8 Wet areas
Keep leads and appliances away from wet areas. This not only keeps your staff safe but your appliance safe too.
9 Trip Hazards
Don’t have extension leads lying across walk ways.
10 Electrical safety is your responsibility
Australian legislation makes it quite clear that the responsibility for the safety of your workplace, and therefore the safety of both your workers and the customers of your café or restaurant rests with you as the business owner.
So, to meet your OH&S and workplace safety obligations, follow all safety standards, have all required safety equipment in place and do everything you can to ensure the safety of everyone who visits or works in your business.
for breaching OH&S requirements.
Our services extend to all workplace fire equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire blankets and hose reels. With all your equipment in order, you can be sure your employees and customers will be protected in the event of a fire.
11 All portable electrical equipment in your business needs to be regularly tested and tagged
All portable electrical equipment and appliances in your business need to be regularly tested and tagged to ensure that they are safe to be used in your business. How often the equipment needs to be tested and tagged depends on the type of, the environment it is in and how it is used.
Your Jim’s Test & Tag specialist will be able to advise how often your equipment should be tested and tagged. Your Jim’s Test & Tag technician will also record details of the equipment that is tested and implement a testing schedule for your business to ensure you remain compliant with the Australian New Zealand safety standard AS NZ 3760.2022.
12 Testing and tagging needs to be performed by a specialist
You can’t test and tag your own equipment unless you meet the criteria of a ‘competent person’ under the safety standard AS/NZ 3760.2022. The standard defines a competent person as someone who has the required knowledge, training or experience in working with the safety standard and the testing and tagging of portable electrical equipment.
Because the responsibility for electrical safety rests with you as the business owner, you need to choose your electrical safety provider wisely. Jim’s Test & Tag technicians all meet the criteria for a ‘competent person’ under the standard. All Jim’s Test & Tag technicians have completed a Certificate of Attainment in Test and Tag.
13 Get your safety switches checked
Safety switches are our first line of defence in protection against electric shock and electrocution. Safety switches work by instantaneously cutting the power to a circuit if a foreign body (such as a human) enters the circuit. But safety switches are only effective on the circuit they’re attached to so it’s of critical importance to ensure that you have safety switches connected to every electrical circuit in your business.
Safety switches also need to be regularly tested to ensure that they will operate correctly if required. Jim’s Test & Tag can check your safety switches and conduct the required testing.
14 Make sure your smoke alarms are compliant
There are strict laws governing smoke alarms including how often they need to be tested and how regularly they need to be replaced. If your smoke alarms are battery-operated, change the batteries every six months when the clocks change for daylight saving, to make sure that your business is never put in unnecessary danger due to a flat battery. Jim’s Test & Tag can check and test your smoke alarms for you.
15 Get your microwave tested for radiation leakage
Many people don’t realise that microwaves can leak radiation which could be potentially harmful to humans. Get the microwaves in your commercial kitchen regularly tested for radiation leakage. Because microwaves in a commercial kitchen are used far more frequently than those in a domestic kitchen, you should get your commercial microwave checked more frequently.
Microwave radiation testing is one of the electrical safety services offered by Jim’s Test & Tag.
16 Use your equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions
It seems obvious but you should only use the electrical equipment in your business according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a piece of electrical equipment in a way other than what it was designed for could be placing your business at risk.