Cellar safety – 400 licensed premises sign-up

Over 400 licensed premises have signed-up to the cellar safety programme spearheaded by the Irish Brewers Association and the Health & Safety Authority since it launched a year ago.

It’s estimated that there are approximately 4,000 accidents on licensed premises every year and the programme is designed for publicans and bar managers to enhance safety on their premises – in particular in their cellars – and to avoid accidents.

As part of this, licensed premises are encouraged to carry out risk assessments on their bar and cellar which can be carried out free online through besmart.ie.

The assessment involves identifying potential hazards and ensuring employees are fully briefed on avoiding accidents. After completion, the premises will get a Safety Statement which is a legal requirement. Failure to conduct these may result in prosecution from the relevant authorities.

“While bar cellars can be perfectly safe environments to work, a failure to meet the minimum safety standards can result in serious accidents for bar staff, gas installers and beer dispense technicians,” explained IBA Head Jonathan McDade, “Following a few serious accidents in bar cellars in Europe over the past few years, we felt it was important to work with the HSA to develop a programme to avoid accidents on Irish licensed premises.

“The Cellar Safety Programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and aims to improve safety in the workplace environment for thousands of workers and service providers and for customers of the hospitality sector.

“In addition to enhancing the safety for individuals working within cellars, risk assessments are legally required under health and safety regulations.

“To help with this process, as part of this project, we’ve developed six case studies outlining how some licensed premises are managing safety. They deal with some of the more significant hazards such as CO2 in cellars, fire, keg-handling, waste management, unfamiliar workplaces and slips, trips and falls. They’re also freely available on besmart.ie.

“We’re encouraging those in the hospitality sector who haven’t signed up to log-on to Besmart.ie and carry out an assessment.”

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