The British Compressed Gases Association has joined forces with Health and Safety Executive (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.
The industrial gas safety organisation said 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.
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).