Gas safety in the workplace

Gas leaks in the workplace can lead to explosions, serious health problems and, in the worst cases, even death. Many gases are odourless and colourless, presenting a hidden danger. For business owners and landlords, now is the time to get clued up on the safety risks related to gas in the workplace, and protect yourself and your employees from harmful gas exposure.

If gas appliances, such as heating boilers and radiant heaters, are not properly installed and maintained, there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas is usually supplied through pipes into the premises from the mains supply, or by a storage tank, or in small cylinders used close to the appliance with a hose connection. Employers and landlords need to comply with the relevant regulations to help ensure the safety of all workers and anyone on the premises.

The risks of using gas

Gas safety is of utmost importance in the workplace, yet reliable gas detection is often overlooked. The industries where many dangerous gases are commonly present include; the food and beverage manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical manufacturing, petrochemical, water and utility, metal plating manufacturing, and healthcare industries, and could be placing lives at risk.

These types of industrial processes increasingly involve the use and manufacture of highly hazardous, flammable and toxic gases. From unexpected gas leaks, to accidental explosions, gas poses a serious health and safety threat. Health risks include asphyxiation, carbon monoxide poisoning, loss of consciousness and even death.

As many of these gases go undetected, they present a hidden danger. As a result, the levels of these dangerous substances must be continuously monitored in the workplace, and regular checks and maintenance need to be a top priority.

Legal duties and obligations around gas safety

There are numerous HSE legislations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act and Gas Safety Management Regulations, that link with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations.

As a landlord, you are legally responsible for the wellbeing of your tenants in relation to gas safety. By law you must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition
  • Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, carried out by an appropriately qualified engineer on the Gas Safe Register
  • Keep a record of each safety check

The fundamentals for all businesses include:

  • Using a competent engineer to install, maintain or repair your appliances
  • Ensure that your gas pipework, appliances and flues are regularly maintained
  • Check that all rooms with gas appliances have adequate ventilation

In addition to this, you should also keep your tenants informed about their responsibilities while they occupy your property. Whenever a gas appliance is installed in the workplace, or maintenance work is carried out on existing gas appliances or fittings, the person carrying out the work must be competent and qualified to work on the type of equipment concerned. Such persons can prove this by being registered with the Gas Safe Register. When a gas appliance is installed, it must be located in a position that is easily accessible for use, inspection and maintenance. Employers and anyone responsible for business premises must not allow a gas appliance to be used if they suspect there may be a danger.

The importance of using Gas Safe engineers

All maintenance, installations and repairs to gas works must, by law, be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register. Different types of appliances and equipment need different knowledge. Make sure that the engineer is qualified to work on the correct type of equipment. This information can be found on the back of their registration card. The card contains a photograph of the employee, their trading title, their registration number and the expiry date of the card.

Gas Safety is to be taken very seriously, as a landlord or employer you must provide a safe environment for your employees at all times. Voltix Services’ qualified team will ensure you are being ‘Gas Safe’ at your premises and that you are meeting all requirements of the Gas Safe Act of 1996.