27th February, 2014

Health and safety rules in cafes

Like any business, cafes and restaurants in Australia are subject to specific and comprehensive occupational health and safety (OHS) standards.

These regulations and codes have been put in place to protect workers and customers from accidents and injuries that could occur due to the duties and services carried out in the food services sector.

This includes providing training before allowing employees to work with potentially dangerous equipment, such as espresso machines. Without the necessary knowledge, staff risk serious burns and other injuries from using this essential tool.

If an injury does occur in your workplace, an OHS representative will review your business to ensure adequate health and safety standards were being followed. An organisation found to be incompliant may face significant fines or even closure.

It is therefore important that all cafe business owners have sufficient workplace health and safety policies and procedures in place.

However, due to the nature of OHS regulations and legislation, it can be difficult for employers to keep track of changes to the Work Health and Safety Act in addition to staying on top of the requirements specific to their state or territory.

To help businesses with this problem, Systems on a Shoestring (SOAS) has released a mobile phone app designed to guide small to medium enterprises, including cafe owners, through their OHS compliance requirements.

“Through the SOAS Simple Safety app, ensuring workplace safety will take mere minutes and will provide business owners with confidence that they can effectively demonstrate their commitment to providing a safe work environment,” SOAS Director Emma Bentton said in an August 13 media release.

Of course, if an accident or injury does occur, cafe owners are recommended to have adequate cafe insurance in place to cover any financial liability that may arise.

This includes the requirement for all Western Australian cafe’s to take out sufficient workers compensation insurance to ensure their staff are protected against injuries and illnesses caused in the line of duty.

Author: Murray Bruce