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It’s a busy Saturday afternoon, it’s hot and humid and the drinks orders are coming in thick and fast. In the kitchen it’s even hotter than it is outside as the chef and their team deal with all the requests. To turn up the heat even more, something else is about to happen and another visitor is about to show up. It’s not one looking to pay money, albeit they’re not looking for a free meal either, though their attendance may end up costing the business in other ways. The visitor is an environmental health officer. If this happened in real life are you confident of your business is achieving compliance? Do you have records to show? If not, would you know where to start? Using a health and safety checklist will always be a great place to begin.

Why you need a health and safety checklist

You already know certain tasks need to be carried out daily to make sure standards are continuously adhered too and creating a health and safety checklist is a great way to acheive that. Managing and risk assessments across single and multiple sites is an essential part of every day, and teams having lists of all the things they need to complete and tick off will help massively with EHO inspections or should there be an accident in the workplace. Another question to ask; does your team know what the correct actions to take are?

What should be on your health and safety checklist?

Here’s a list of classic health and safety examples but be sure to add your own as this isn’t extensive:

  1. Opening up checks – make sure exit doors are unlocked and check for signs of pests
  2. Confirming staff are fit for work
  3. Is there enough ventilation?
  4. Are health and safety posters displayed?
  5. Check sinks and water
  6. First aid box check
  7. Fire evacuations procedure visible
  8. Check fridge and freezer temperature
  9. Cleaning tasks
  10. Evaluate any potential hazards 
  11. Allergen separation
  12. Closing checks – ensure food is stored safely and electrical equipment is turned off

Why health and safety audit checklists are important

The first thing you need to do is review and find out how safe your business currently is. By carrying out a health and safety audit you’ll be able to identify any risks and analyse whether your procedures make you legally compliant.

This includes:

  • Identifying hazards
  • Training up staff
  • Finding out the strength and weaknesses of your business
  • Identify improvements needed to be made

Once this has been done, you’ll recognise improvements which need to be made and if any measures need to be installed within the business.

Ensuring your business is health and safety compliant

Effective health and safety checklists ought to be meticulous and cover a broad range of issues including daily tasks, hazards and hygiene. 

It’s important to be EHO compliant with:

Health and Safety Maintenance Checks

Maintenance checks need to include everything from inspections to repairs, and must be completed daily. Recording all maintenance checks means managers can have an overview of what’s going on. With the OpsBase platform this is easy to achieve as the software allows the workforce to complete daily ops from any device whilst senior members of staff can view all data and information from one easy to use central location.

Common hazards you’re likely to come across:

  • Exposed and faulty wiring
  • Wet floors
  • Broken glass
  • Faulty equipment including tools, machinery and appliances
  • Harmful materials 
  • Trips and fails – steps, damaged flooring and stray cables

Food Safety Checks

Food safety is so important and it’s imperative to think about everything from allergens to sell by dates concerning health and safety. Ensure food safety by doing the following:

  • Label food with correct dates
  • Cover chilled food
  • Bin out of date food
  • Complete food temperature logs sheets daily
  • Make sure food isn’t cross contaminated
  • Thoroughly check all food deliveries
  • Ensure food is stored properly

Opening and Closing Procedures

Health and Safety Opening Checks

When you open there are specific tasks you need to complete:

  1. Fridge temperature checks
  2. Are staff fit for their shift?
  3. Check for any hazards
  4. Check for any pests
  5. Make sure water is on
  6. Ensure exit doors are accessible
  7. Safety information must be displayed
  8. Check temperature and ventilation of working environment
  9. Toilet checks

Health and Safety Closing Checks

Whichever member of staff is responsible for restaurant and bar closing checks must ensure all procedures are followed correctly, which includes everything from wastage reports to cleaning checks. Only necessary electrical equipment such as fridges should be running and no taps should be left on. Whilst this does seem obvious, at the end of a busy day it’s easy to forget something so having a list to refer to makes the business more secure.

Exceptions to deal with

Record keeping is key to helping your business to be compliant.

  • If there’s an accident, an incident report form should be used
  • Regular checks for legionella should be carried out regularly
  • Foreign object forms should be completed if something unexpected is found
  • Monthly fire extinguisher checks should happen
  • Take photos for evidence

COVID Health and Safety Checks

Of course, following the pandemic, there are now COVID secure checks that need to be completed to keep staff and customers safe.

  • Customer registrations process
  • Social distancing checks
  • Being able to respond instantly to changing regulations

All these checks can be done quickly and easily via special COVID templates within the OpsBase platform.

Want an easier way to achieve health and safety compliance?

Achieving health and safety compliance is just half the battle. With businesses having to carry out more daily checks than ever before it can be difficult to know if the right checks are being made and if they’re being done correctly.

Writing something down on a piece of paper or filling out a spreadsheet makes it difficult to keep track of a deskless workforce and for them to make sure they’ve done everything.

OpsBase is a compliant, effective, easy to use digital platform supporting businesses with their daily processes. Report issues, use health and safety audit checklists, have the most in-depth data about your business with everything accessible from one central management platform. And of course, make it easier to pass that next EHO visit.

Carmelo Ruggieri

Content Marketing Executive

Carmelo has years of experience in marketing, loves of all things tech and is a regular contributor to the OpsBase blog. He enjoys writing almost as much as he enjoys eating crunchy peanut butter and is likely to be found doing one or the other at any given point in time.

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OpsBase software is designed for busy restaurants bars, hotels and retailers. Manage your day-to-day operations on the move, report any issues with the click of a button, and communicate with your whole team, across multiple sites, all from one easy to set-up, simple to use app.

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