Health and SafetyExecutiveGas safety in catering and hospitalityHSE information sheetIntroductionThis information sheet has been produced by theHospitality Industry Liaison Forum whose membersinclude trade and professional associations, unionsand enforcement authorities. Members’ associationsare free to reproduce and disseminate this guidanceto relevant catering establishments. The guidance isissued by the Health and Safety Executive.This guidance is aimed at those operating cateringand hospitality businesses. It gives advice on relevantaspects of safety in the use and maintenance of gasfired equipment used for catering. It builds oninformation in the HSE Catering Information Sheet No10 Ventilation in catering kitchens1 and currentguidance issued by Building Engineering ServicesAssociation (BESA, formerly HVCA) Specification forkitchen ventilation systems (DW172)2 on designspecification for ventilation systems with gas supplies.This information sheet also incorporates guidancefrom Catering Information Sheet No 3 Precautions atmanually ignited gas-fired catering equipment, whichhas been withdrawn.The gas catering industry sector, in conjunction withthe Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM),has produced guidance, IGEM/IG/2,3 that replaces thedetailed technical guidance for installers, designersand engineers in the previous revision of thisinformation sheet.What the law saysGas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations1998Any work with gas appliances will be subject to theduties imposed by the Gas Safety (Installation andUse) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR).4Gas Appliance (Safety Regulations) 1995These Regulations require that all new appliances forCatering Information Sheet No 23commercial catering must be CE marked. CE markingindicates conformity with the Regulations and that anotified body has approved the appliance. Althoughthe Regulations apply principally to domesticappliances, industrial space heaters and commercialcatering equipment are also covered.The principal standard that applies to safety standardsfor gas-fired catering equipment is BS EN 203-1 Gasheated catering equipment. General safety rules.5The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use)Regulations 1986 (Part 4D)These Regulations apply to the use of liquid petroleumgas (LPG) appliances in vehicles. They require that thevehicle is adequately ventilated and state that pilot lightsshould not be lit while the vehicle is in motion. Thisincreases the chance of the flame going out and,consequently, the risk of fire or explosion. There aresome exceptions to this, such as in specialised vehiclesfor ‘meals on wheels’, which have special safeguardsinstalled. Consult the Regulations for detailed guidance.6The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974Employers and the self-employed have duties underthe Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 toensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the healthand safety of their employees and others affected bytheir work. Employees have a duty to ensure that theirwork does not pose risks to others and not tointerfere with anything provided for health and safetyreasons.Installation and repair work on gasappliancesSuch work will include equipment using natural gas orLPG in hotels, restaurants, takeaway outlets, mobilecatering units etc.Everyone who does this type of work must becompetent. Whether contractors or in-house staff doPage 1 of 6

Health and SafetyExecutivethe work, the company or individual must be GasSafe-registered and operatives must have validcertificates of competence relevant to the particulartypes of gas equipment and gas work they areinvolved with. This is a requirement of GSIUR.In premises where GSIUR does not apply, such ascanteens in factories, employers need to ensure thatany staff doing such work are competent. In practicalterms, Gas Safe registration is the clearest way ofdemonstrating competence.All hospitality and catering employers usingcontractors for gas work should take reasonablesteps to check that contractors have a currentrelevant certificate of competence. This can bechecked by asking to see an individual’s Gas Safeidentify card and verified by contacting Gas SafeRegister on 0800 408 5500 or looking on the People can sometimesuse out-of-date certificates.Maintenance and inspection byemployers and the self-employedRegulation 35 of GSIUR requires employers and theself-employed to ensure that gas appliances, flues,pipework and safety devices are maintained in a safecondition. As defined by GSIUR, gas work, includinginspection and maintenance, should only be carriedout by a competent, Gas Safe-registered engineer.The engineer should carry out the work in accordancewith relevant and current industry standards or codesof practice. The frequency of inspections andequipment servicing may vary depending on theequipment and its use and should follow themanufacturer’s recommendations but, as a generalrule, annual inspections are a reasonable minimumfrequency, with repairs carried out as necessary.Landlords and residentialaccommodationIn addition to duties to maintain appliances, chimneys/flues and pipework, landlords must have all relevantappliances and chimneys/flues checked for safetyevery 12 months by a suitably qualified Gas Safetyregistered engineer and provide tenants with a copyof the report (the landlord’s gas safety record) within28 days. This applies to residential accommodation(whether rented or occupied under a licence),including hotels, guest houses, bedsits, communalkitchens, tied accommodation, holiday boats,caravans and staff accommodation, even if onindustrial or other premises not otherwise subject tothe Regulations. So this duty may apply in certainareas of the hospitality industry.Equipment: Use of gas and routine tasksAll catering and hospitality staff that use gasequipment should be trained in how to use it and inhow to carry out visual checks for obvious faults. Thiswill include such things as damaged pipework andconnections, inoperative flame supervision devices(these shut off the gas supply automatically if theflame disappears), missing restraints on equipment,inoperative locks on castors of mobile equipment andsmells of escaping gas. All staff should be familiar withwhat to do in these situations.Routine tasks such as connecting and disconnectingplug-in gas connections to appliances when movingfor cleaning, or changing LPG cylinders or hoses, canbe carried out by people who are not Gas Saferegistered, but they must be competent. Only a GasSafe-registered person should carry out newinstallation of and commission of the appliance with aplug-in gas connection, including the safetyexaminations prescribed in GSIUR.VentilationMost catering kitchens use mechanical ventilationsystems to create a comfortable working environmentthat promotes health and safety at work as well asgood hygiene and food safety.Properly functioning ventilation systems are importantin ensuring kitchen safety. Using a properly designedand fully specified system, with a record of its designperformance characteristics, as required by DW172,will make it considerably easier for owners, caterersand gas engineers to assess whether the ventilationsystem has been appropriately designed for the loadbeing used.HSE Catering Information Sheet No 10 Ventilation incatering kitchens provides guidance on ventilationrequirements for kitchens. Read it in conjunction withthis information sheet.Page 2 of 6

Health and SafetyExecutiveVentilation ductworkSources of fires in ductwork above open flame gasappliances include flambéing, flame-grilling and stirfrying. This is usually caused by one of these ignitionsources igniting a build-up of grease and fat. You cangreatly reduce the risk of such build-ups in a ductworksystem by using an appropriately designed canopywith modern grease filtration.appliances to be shut off. Installation of manualbypasses to such interlock systems is not permitted.Effective preventative maintenance and cleaning willhelp to prevent appliances from regular nuisanceshutdown due to the ventilation system failing.Existing installationsClean ductwork regularly to prevent build-up of greaseand fat. This can be an unpleasant and awkward taskand you need to take great care to do a thorough job,as this is often skimped.There are large numbers of installations that do notcomply with BS 6173 or the law. While it is acceptedthat the catering industry record in terms of reportedincidents is good, and BS 6173 is not retrospective,do not be complacent.BESA provides practical advice on how to adequatelyclean ventilation systems in Good practice: Internalcleanliness of ventilation systems.7Where there is no interlocking of the ventilation systemand gas supply, assess whether a risk is likely to ariseand, if so, make sure it is prevented or controlled.BS 6173 Specification for installationand maintenance of gas-fired cateringappliances for use in all types ofcatering establishments (2nd and 3rdfamily gases)Additional guidance regarding these situations can befound in Ventilation in catering kitchens.This British Standard8 specifies the installationrequirements for new and second-hand gas-firedcatering appliances and places emphasis on foodhygiene and ventilation requirements. Although not astatement of the law, British Standards set out agreedgood practice.Interlocking of mechanical ventilationsystem and gas suppliesBS 6173 provides installers with general designinformation on this subject. The objective of allventilation systems is to ensure safe workingconditions in the kitchen. The cooking process willgenerate products of combustion, heat etc, all ofwhich are required to be kept within safeenvironmental limits by operation of the ventilationsystem. If a mechanical system fails or is not workingcorrectly, the environment may become unsafe or unfitfor work.It is important to make sure all natural and mechanicalventilation systems are working effectively. Theinstaller should have fitted the appropriate interlockingsystem between any mechanical ventilation systemand the operation of gas appliances so that failure ofthe ventilation system causes the gas supply to theAssessing the riskFor general advice on risk assessment, see that will increase the risk include: evidence that the ventilation system is not used oris unreliable; small room volume; obviously poor design/maintenance of theventilation system (long, convoluted ducts, brokenfans, leaking ductwork, visible escape of cookingfumes/steam etc); lack of user awareness of the effect of using gasappliances without adequate ventilation; poor general ventilation; extensive use of gas-fired appliances for longperiods, without a correctly functioning ventilationsystem; ageing system/installation; lack of routine or planned maintenance.Factors that will reduce risk include: good natural ventilation; satisfactory fume removal through ventilationductwork by natural draught alone; well-maintained ventilation system;Page 3 of 6

Health and SafetyExecutive provision of an appropriate ventilation systeminterlock; good user awareness of the risks and properdocumented procedures for using the ventilationsystem; minimal use of gas-fired appliances; modern ventilation system; large room size; clear, permanent notices warning that appliancesmust not be used without the ventilation system inoperation.Any user of gas who has any concerns about thesafety of their installation should not wait until the nextroutine maintenance visit or breakdown, but seekurgent advice from a competent gas engineer and,where necessary, a ventilation expert.When carrying out minor upgrades or repairs and atroutine maintenance visits, gas engineers (who areduty-bound to take action if they discover health andsafety defects) will need to assess the overallcondition of the installation against current industryguidance.When Gas Safe engineers carry out inspection andmaintenance of gas-fired catering equipment they willapply the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure(GIUSP) and the risk assessment protocol from theIG2 engineers guide as a means of assessing safetyand remedial actions. If a gas engineer does this, theywill also provide information about the appropriatestandard and the practicability of upgrading theinstallation.If a gas engineer believes that there are factors thatmay increase the risk described above, an At Risk(AR) or Immediately Dangerous (ID) classification maybe applied as appropriate, based on the nature andlevel of risk present. In either case the advice will beto not use the appliance/installation. If the appliance/installation is classified as AR, the engineer will askpermission to turn it off or, in the case of an IDclassification, to disconnect it. These classificationsare unlikely if proper regular maintenance has beendone.Flame supervision devicesFlame supervision devices are designed to stop gasentering the burner of a gas appliance if the flame isextinguished.New equipment will have flame supervision devices.All second-hand equipment with open and/orenclosed burners being installed should be fitted withflame supervision devices.All ovens not originally fitted with a flame supervisiondevice should have been upgraded. If this is notpossible, replace them.There may be some exceptional cases where it is notpossible to retrofit an oven with a flame supervisiondevice and it is not reasonably practicable toimmediately replace the equipment. In such rarecases, you should implement other robust controlmeasures, including, for example, providing suitableinformation, instruction and training, appropriatesupervision and safe systems of work with a view toreplacing the equipment as soon as it is reasonablypracticable to do so.LPG-fuelled, portable/disposable gascylinder blowtorchesThese are often used for caramelising dishes such ascrème brûlée and have been involved in several firesand explosions in kitchens when accidentally placedon hot surfaces. Do not place such torches on or nearhot surfaces or near open flames.Homemade blowtorchesSome restaurants have incorrectly used a length offlattened copper pipe connected to a flexible hoseand mains gas or utilised gas pokers, designed foruse in lighting a solid fuel domestic coal fire, insteadof a proprietary handheld torch. You must only useblowtorches of an approved proprietary design.Mobile equipmentThere should be a safe method of cleaning mobileequipment. Many more appliances are now fitted withcastors to allow movement for cleaning. This hasoften required using flexible gas connectors, whichcan become damaged when equipment is moved.Cleaning without moving the appliance may bepossible with careful installation, so flexible gasconnectors are not required. If appliances containinghot liquids have to be moved, they must be fitted withlockable castors that are regularly maintained. Movingappliances containing hot liquids creates a risk of fireand serious burns, so allow liquids time to coolPage 4 of 6

Health and SafetyExecutiveadequately before starting cleaning. CateringInformation Sheet No 17, Safety during emptying andcleaning of fryers9 provides useful information that willhelp you avoid risks associated with hot liquids.References1Ventilation of kitchens in catering establishmentsCatering Information Sheet CAIS10(rev3) HSE2017 catering2Specification for kitchen ventilation systemsDW172 Building Engineering Services AssociationPublications PDFs/DW172.pdf3Guidance for gas engineers to the application ofrelevant sections of IGEM/UP/19 in cateringestablishments in the installation and use of gas systemsand appliances: Gas Safety (Installation and Use)Regulations 1998. Approved Code of Practice andguidance L56 (Fourth edition) HSE EN 203-1:2014 Gas heated cateringequipment. General safety rules British StandardsInstitution6The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use)Regulations 1986 SI 1986/1078 The StationeryOffice7Guide to good practice: Internal cleanliness ofventilation systems TR19 Building EngineeringServices Association www.thebesa.com8BS 6173:2009 Specification for installations andmaintenance of gas-fired catering appliances foruse in all types of catering establishments (2ndand 3rd family gases) British Standards Institution9Safety during emptying and cleaning of fryersCatering Information Sheet CAIS17(rev4) HSE2017 catering units such as burger/fish and chipvans or travelling barbecues usually use LPG suppliedin cylinders.The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) hasproduced guidance10 on the installation of LPG andLPG-fired equipment in catering trailers, convertedvehicles, portable kitchens, carts, trolleys and bikes.Carbon monoxide/dioxide alarmsSome kitchens have carbon monoxide (CO) alarmsinstalled. These should be suitable for use in thegenerally harsher conditions found in commercialworking environments. Domestic CO alarms are notnormally suitable and should not be used.CO alarms/monitoring systems are also available foruse in commercial installations. Consider their use inthe site-specific risk assessment of the appliance andinstallation, ensuring an appropriate proactive alarmmaintenance regime is introduced in line with themanufacturer’s instructions.Where installed, CO/dioxide alarm systems shouldgive an audible alarm and be interlocked to the gaspipework serving the catering appliances with anautomatic gas shut-off system. This should be a failsafe arrangement and requires manual intervention torestore the gas supply.These alarms are only warning devices.The primary safeguards remain providing anadequate and effective ventilation system toensure complete combustion of gas and removalof combustion products, along with regularmaintenance and servicing of all equipment bycompetent people.10 Guidance for the installation of LPG and LPG-firedequipment in catering trailers, converted vehicles,portable kitchens, carts, trolleys and bikesNationwide Caterers Association Ltd (NCASS)2012 5 of 6

Health and SafetyExecutiveFurther informationUseful HSE webpages are can contact the Gas Safety Advice Line on0800 300 363.For information about health and safety, or to reportinconsistencies or inaccuracies in this guidance, You can view HSE guidance onlineand order priced publications from the website. HSEpriced publications are also available from bookshops.British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hardcopy formats from BSI: or bycontacting BSI Customer Services for hard copiesonly Tel: 0845 086 9001 email: [email protected] Stationery Office publications are available fromThe Stationery Office, PO Box 29, Norwich NR3 1GNTel: 0870 600 5522 Fax: 0870 600 5533 email:[email protected] (They are also available frombookshops.) Statutory Instruments can be viewed freeof charge at where you canalso search for changes to legislation.This guidance is issued by the Health and SafetyExecutive. Following the guidance is not compulsory,unless specifically stated, and you are free to takeother action. But if you do follow the guidance you willnormally be doing enough to comply with the law.Health and safety inspectors seek to securecompliance with the law and may refer to thisguidance.This leaflet is available at Crown copyright If you wish to reuse thisinformation visit fordetails. First published 01/04.Published by the Health and Safety ExecutiveCAIS23(rev3)07/17Page 6 of 6

appliances, industrial space heaters and commercial catering equipment are also covered. The principal standard that applies to safety standards for gas-fired catering equipment is BS EN 203-1 Gas heated catering equipment. General safety rules5. The Road V