If a health and safety auditor arrived within the next five minutes, how would you feel as a food related business owner or manager?

  • You have delivered and used frequent health and safety training sessions and are proactive about maintaining food hygiene and health and safety via an HACCP plan. The best, and legislation meeting practices are enforced because you utilise the skills and experience of training firms like Food Alert in London.

Your audit shouldn’t present any unwelcome results. It’s business as usual.

  • You have no true concept of what the business and team’s results will be. If you’ve seen any of the staff taking health and safety or food hygiene risks you’ve corrected them but there is no formal plan (HACCP plan) and you take each day as it comes. The health and safety audit is met with dread, anxiety and an all too late wish that you’d organised health and safety training sessions and on the spot informal audits to prepare for an official audit.

Despite mandatory new-starter training, it’s possible that a variety of responses will greet you when you ask a question about hazards, practices, responsibilities or current legislation.  However, with an HACCP plan in operation there should be one universal reply from cleaner, trainee, supervisor and management. HACCP – Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points – food safety management systems meet UK and EU legislation and can save lives and legal action.

Any food has the potential to poison if it’s used out of date, handled, stored or cooked inappropriately or is contaminated. Regular training and HACCP development puts safeguards in place.

Health and safety, food hygiene, HACCP and allergen, cleanliness and labelling training may not be a top priority or an expense that you wish to factor in to profit and loss accounts but maintaining knowledge and managing risks is always less costly that being the establishment named publicly as the cause of a health and safety incident.

HSE data:

  • In 2015/2016 over 30.4 million work days were lost in Britain thanks to work related illness or workplace injury.
  • A recent case concerned a 16-year-old employee who slipped and accidently flash fried her arm in 360°F oil.
  • A worker slipped in a kitchen, fractured her skull and was awarded over £36000 in compensation from her employer. The incident was “wholly preventable.”

The level 2 CIEH Health and Safety training course summary:

  • Basic health and safety procedures.
  • The value of health & safety.
  • Its integration in to your business.
  • The responsibilities of employers and employees under health and safety legislation.
  • Hazards, risks and the main causes of harm to workers.
  • The importance of following systems, procedures and rules to prevent accidents.
  • How individual actions can reduce the risks to health & safety.
  • Understand hazards and ill-health effects associated with specific work activities and processes.
  • Appreciate how workplace equipment/task design affects health & safety.

When you consider risk assessment, remember that ignorance and mismanagement aren’t valid defences.

By Genaro Martin

Linda Martin: Linda, a renowned management consultant, offers strategies for leadership, team building, and performance management in her blog.