Trade body reinforces rogue trader warning message in safety collaboration
National trade body the British Compressed Gases Association joined forces with HSE to raise awareness of the dangers of poor quality beverage gas in the licensed sector.
Both organisations produced a webinar, targeted at Local Authority Environmental Health Officers, to explain some of the issues surrounding the supply of poor quality gas in the hospitality industry.
The webinar is part of an ongoing campaign from the BCGA, who advocate action to tackle illicit operators who provide sub-standard gas to licensed premises.
BCGA says such activity can jeopardise safety, hygiene and quality - and it is particularly concerned about injuries - either in the form of explosions or oxygen depletion - which may occur in confined spaces such as cellars if gas equipment is not correctly installed and maintained.
As a result, the issue of Confined Space regulation and legislation, as well as the hazards of gases, gas abuse and gas cylinder identification were all included in the programme.
Steve Corner of BOC Gases is chair of the BCGA's Health and Safety Advisory Group (HASAG), and recently joined the Health and Safety Executive's Hospitality Industry Liaison Forum (HILF), with a remit to raise awareness of the dangers of illicit suppliers providing cylinders and gases.
He joined in the webinar, which was led on behalf of BCGA by Simon Fisher of GasCon Gas Consultants. Also in attendance were Amanda Cockton, Tracy Hamilton and Sarah Bates of HSE.
Mr Corner said: "The webinar was aimed primarily at Local Authority Environmental Health Officers, whose role is to enforce both food safety and occupational safety in cellars.
"It was a very useful opportunity to join with HSE and explain some of the concerns we have.
"As well as concentrating on the safety aspect, the webinar presented an important opportunity to consider the affect poor quality gas can have on the end product.
"Gases are legally identified as ‘food' and have to meet specific quality standards. All places where gases are filled and distributed need to be registered as food premises.
"Ultimately poor gas quality affects the taste and enjoyment of drinks and won't encourage customers to return."
The webinar is the latest in a series of initiatives to tackle the issue of poor quality gas and maintenance issues.
These include a poster-style guide, which includes reference to the dangers of purchasing gas from non-reputable sources, produced by the BCGA, with support from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association (BFBi).
The poster ‘Good Gas - Good Business' is available for free download and is designed to be put on the walls in licensed premises to make people aware of gas issues. It is part of a long-standing partnership between all three organisations to drive safety standards across the industry.
‘Good Gas - Good Business' can be found in the BCGA website's dedicated beverage gases area at http://www.bcga.co.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=84&title=beverage_gases
There's also a guidance note GN 9, ‘The Application Of The Confined Spaces Regulations To The Drinks Dispense Industry.'
Note to Editors
The ‘invisible industry' underpinning a safe, successful and healthy nation - industrial and medical gases are essential to the existence and wellbeing of thousands of people in the UK every day.
Industrial gases perform a wide-ranging role supporting the manufacture of information technology, as well as key UK industrial sectors including steelmaking, refining, welding, chemical processing and electronics. They also help keep homes warm, water clean and food nutritious, appealing and affordable - while medical gases play a critical role in applications including respiratory care, pain therapies and anaesthesia.
The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) is the UK membership body for this critical industry. With a commitment to stringent quality, safety and environmental measures, BCGA members employ 19,000 people directly and account for an annual turnover of £2.7 billion.
Members of BCGA operate in a highly-regulated industry and work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers' working environments.
BCGA promotes safety practice through its publications and also participates in the preparation and revision of National, European and International Standards.
Press release issued by Jane Shepherd, Shepherd PR - firstname.lastname@example.org
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