The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 - 14:00
New South Wales
The NSW Government has launched a crackdown on operators using portable gas appliances dangerously in NSW restaurants, after a recent SafeWork NSW blitz of restaurants, cafes and bakeries found an alarming rate of workplaces were using the appliances unsafely.
“During the blitz SafeWork visited 432 food businesses, where they found 99 were using portable gas appliances in breach of work health and safety laws,” said NSW Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean.
“We’ve seen shocking cases of workers with horrific injuries when gas appliances aren’t used correctly, and have caused explosions and fires,” he said.
“We are taking a zero tolerance approach to any business which chooses to blatantly flout the rules and seriously risk the safety of workers and consumers.
“The safety of staff and customers absolutely must come first.”
In the three years to July 2016 there were 18 workers compensation claims, costing more than $200,000, for hospitality industry workers injured in incidents involving LPG cylinders.
Most recently, a 35-year-old man suffered severe burns when a gas cylinder stored in a cafeteria at a Lismore racecourse exploded.
Minister Kean said commercial kitchens should be cooking with gas connected to fixed mains or industrial cylinders, which must be stored and handled in accordance with dangerous goods laws.
“The use of portable gas appliances indoors puts workers and customers at risk of fire, explosion and asphyxia,” he said.
“If you must use a portable gas appliance in your business, ensure it is only operated in well-ventilated areas, regularly check for leaks, turn it off when it’s not in use, and avoid storing it indoors.”