Shropshire Council

Hotels and inns

The main hazards associated with hotels and public houses (the list is not exhaustive) include:

Injuries arising from lifting

In order to prevent such injuries employers are required to take precautionary measures to minimise hazardous manual handling operations, for example when moving crates, kegs, CO2 cylinders, luggage etc, and use lifting, handling and assisting aids wherever practicable. Employers must also carry out a sufficient assessment of manual handling operations.

Electrical safety

All equipment should be installed and maintained by a competent person. It is recommended (IEE Wiring Regs BS7671) that the fixed system is inspected/tested at least every five years (or more frequently as recommended by a qualified electrician) and that all electrical appliances are examined/checked ('PAT' tested) at a frequency appropriate to the risk. Regular maintenance should include visual checks for general wear and tear ensuring that plugs, leads and sockets are in good condition and that there is no exposed wiring. Any corrective actions must be carried out immediately.

Gas safety

All premises - any place of work that has a gas installation and/or gas appliances installed must be maintained in such a way so as to prevent risk of injury to any person. The definition of what is an appropriate maintenance programme will be determined by the installation's age, condition and usage. If an inspector is of the opinion that the installation is not being properly maintained and may give rise to danger, enforcement action may be taken.

Hotels/residential care accommodation - in any room where there is a gas appliance (boiler/heater etc.), and the room is or can be used for sleeping or dining/lounging, then that appliance MUST be checked for safety at intervals not exceeding 12 months by a CORGI-registered engineer.

A record book must be kept in respect of the appliances including information on date of the inspection, any defect identified and any remedial action taken.

Safe use of machinery

To prevent harm to employees, ensure that all staff are fully trained to use the equipment provided, eg food preparation equipment, compactor, and passenger lift. Ensure that workplace equipment is maintained, inspected/tested as appropriate, is safe for use and that it's the right equipment for the job.

Floors, corridors and stairs

  • in order to prevent slips and trips these areas should be kept free from obstructions at all times
  • floor coverings and route ways should be maintained and all areas should be well lit
  • kitchen floors need to have enough grip and should be kept dry as far as is practicable
  • spillages should be cleared up immediately
  • leaking equipment should be repaired
  • staff should wear sensible footwear
  • warning signs should be displayed during cleaning to warn customers/residents/staff of potentially slippery surfaces
  • ensure that any change in floor level is clearly visible

Hazardous substances

To prevent personal harm from hazardous substances, eg skin irritation or respiratory disease, a COSHH risk assessment is required for such substances as cleaning chemicals, beer line cleaner (corrosive), CO2 cylinders etc. Safety data sheets should be obtained from the suppliers of the chemicals to assist in carrying out the risk assessment and providing information to staff.


Many premises, because of age, will contain asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), eg lagged pipes in cellars etc. There is now a statutory duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises. (Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2006).

Smoking (effective 1 July 2007)

All premises, which are wholly or substantially enclosed and used as a place of work by more than one person, are now smoke free. 'No smoking' signs must be displayed at the public entrance to the premises. Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers etc are aware that smoking is not permitted. Ensure that no one smokes in smoke-free premises or vehicles.

Water temperatures and legionella control

One way to minimise the growth of legionella is to store hot water above 60C and distribute it at above 50C. However, care is needed where water runs hot. The risks of scalding should be assessed and appropriate measures taken to prevent burns, eg warning notices or fitting thermostatic mixing valves on taps.

Water systems should be designed to avoid conditions that favour the growth of legionella by ensuring adequate insulation of storage tanks and pipes, using materials that do not encourage growth of legionella and protecting against contamination by fitting water storage tanks with lids. Water systems need to be routinely checked and inspected by a competent person and the risk assessment should be reviewed regularly.

Water stagnation can encourage conditions that favour growth of legionella. It is therefore advisable to remove dead runs in pipe work from the system, flush out seldom used shower heads, taps and remaining dead legs periodically (weekly), and to remove any dirt or limescale. Other water treatment methods include chemical disinfection.

Work-related contact dermatitis

In catering this is caused by contact with water, soaps and cleaning products. Prevention is to avoid contact with cleaning products and water (use a dishwasher rather than hand washing). Protect the skin by wearing non-latex gloves and checking hands regularly for the first signs of dermatitis (itchy, dry or red skin).

Cellar safety

This area contains some significant hazards and access should be restricted to trained and competent staff only. Hazards include:


These should be of a safe design and in good condition, adequately lit and provided with a handrail. Sometimes the access to the stairs will be through a floor hatch which will require the adoption of safe working procedures and physical barriers to prohibit access to others when raised in an 'up' position. Some cellars may have low ceilings, beams and light fittings; these should be marked, where practical, in a contrasting colour and have warning signage displayed. In some instances it might be appropriate to provide insulation or padding etc.

Falls from height

If deliveries are made through an external drop down, are there suitable controls in place to prevent members of the public falling down the open flap? All external hatchways/cellar flaps should be maintained in good condition and have adequate holding bolts or other fastenings.

Falling objects

Are there controls in place to prevent personal injury to persons working in the cellar below during the time of a delivery?


Care should be taken when handling glass. In the event of broken glass rigid containers should be provided for the safe collection and disposal.

Gas cylinders

  • leakage from CO2 and nitrogen cylinders can pose a risk of asphyxiation in confined spaces through the relative depletion of oxygen content of air and faulty gas cylinders can explode
  • it is essential that in cellars there is sufficient ventilation provided by either natural or mechanical means
  • in poorly ventilated areas it is strongly recommended that a CO2 monitoring system be installed
  • it is important that staff are trained in how to identify leaking cylinders and what action to take should one be identified
  • it is essential that all relevant staff are fully trained in connection/disconnection procedures of gas cylinders to prevent cross threading valve damage and/or gas leakage
  • all empty and full gas cylinders should be suitably secured or chained in a vertical position to ensure they can't fall from the vertical storage position and become damaged
  • cylinders must be stored away from heat and ignition sources. It is important that there is an action plan formulated in the case of a gas leak
  • CO2 cellar warning cards should be displayed near cylinders
  • gas cylinders should be checked for leakage on delivery and when connected to the system
  • all damaged cylinders must be reported to the supplier and not used
  • cylinders frosted from the bottom upwards or a hissing noise may indicate a leakage
  • do not drop, roll or drag gas cylinders, and cylinder valves should be closed when not in use

Main legislative requirements