Gas Safety Week: 5 gas safety facts to make sure your business is ‘gas secure’
To celebrate 10 years of Gas Safety Week, run by the Gas Safe Register, Ideal Heating has shared some advice on gas safety in the workplace.
The annual event takes place from 14-20 September this year, with the aim to raise awareness of gas safety issues across the UK.
Problems with gas can be a serious health concern and even a threat to life, yet many buildings around the UK aren’t getting the checks they need to make sure they are safe. Whether you own or rent the building, the tips below are useful for any business owners, health & safety professionals and employees alike.
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5 gas safety facts
To help avoid unwanted breakdowns and risks to your safety, follow Ideal Heating’s five must read pieces of advice on gas safety:
- Get annual checks by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Your gas appliances need a safety check every year – failing to correctly maintain your appliance could lead to serious problems including carbon monoxide poisoning;
- When having your service done, only use Gas Safe Registered engineers. This includes when installing any appliances too. Make sure you insist on seeing their Gas Safe ID card;
- This responsibility falls to landlords for appliances that are provided by them. Keep track of your Gas Safety Records and ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys are safe (in line with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998). If, as a business, you have your own gas appliances in the rented office or workplace then it is your responsibility to ensure that they are regularly maintained and serviced;
- Always ensure that your Gas Safe engineer has a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions and services your appliance in accordance with these. Your appliance manufacturer will be able to help if you don’t have a copy.
- Never block the ventilation around your appliance.
- A lack of ventilation around appliances, whether indoors or outdoors can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide;
- Ensure any gas appliances have good ventilation and are used in the intended way;
- Make sure any employees are aware and know the relevant steps to be taken and processes followed to highlight concerns.
- Get a carbon monoxide detector and don’t forget to test it regularly.
- Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide (and smoke) detectors in your building/s. Early warnings can save lives!
- It’s also important to be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Encourage your employees to know the symptoms which include, headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness and breathlessness. Think about whether symptoms improve when you leave the workplace, are others in the building suffering similar symptoms?
- Test your CO alarm regularly and check that the alarm is still within the expiry date printed on the alarm.
- Encourage your employees and health & safety officers to check appliances for warning signs! If appliances have a pilot light, do you have to relight it? If so, you should get your appliance checked;
- If you have a gas hob in the office kitchen and see yellow, lazy flames, rather than the usual blue ones, get it checked immediately;
- Any staining or excessive soot build up on or around appliances might also signal problems;
- Is your appliance performing differently to normal or displaying fault lights or codes? Time for a Gas Safe registered engineer to check it;
- Check when you last had your gas appliance serviced and ensure you regularly have it maintained;
- All other fuel burning appliances (e.g. log burning stoves) should also be checked and maintained by qualified engineers
- Ensure both you and your employees know how to react if there’s a leak.
- If you think there could be a gas leak or carbon monoxide leak in the workplace, immediately turn off the gas and open windows and doors to ventilate the property. Do not operate any lights or electrical switches. Leave the building and contact the Gas Emergency service and do not re-enter the property until it is safe to do so. For LPG appliances where the leak is indoors, turn off the gas at the manual outlet valve on the tanks or cylinder(s), open windows and doors to ventilate the property, do not operate any light switches or electrical switches. Contact your gas supplier so they can make the installation safe and call the Fire Brigade on 999 and advise that there is an LPG Cylinder(s) or Tank at your property;
- Gas Emergency Services 0800 111 999 – Make a note of this and make sure all responsible persons in the property are aware of it;
- If you suspect you have been exposed to, or are experiencing any symptoms then you need to seek immediate medical assistance;
- You can find all the advice you need by visiting the Gas Safe Register website. Knowing what to do in an emergency saves lives.