Managers and staff who work in bars have to be aware of the procedures to help make their workplace a safe place to work and furthermore and safe place for customers to visit. Poor health and safety standards place staff members and customers at risk of serious injury if not death. It is imperative that a suitable and sufficient health and safety management system is in place.
The following areas within the bar require to be managed effectively in order to maintain an acceptable level of health and safety management:
- Glassware and crockery
- Beer kegs and gas cylinders
- Toilets (both staff and customers)
- Food hygiene
- Cellar and stores
- Manual handling activities
- Fire safety
- Violence and aggression
Some of the key areas listed above are described in more detail below
The most common injuries in the bar are to the back, neck and ribs. Manual handling causes a great deal of injuries across all workplaces and can lead to long-term incapacity. Lifting and carrying heavy items or pushing and pulling can be a major source of these injuries. Bar managers must minimise the amount and degree of manual handling that must be done by their staff members. Where handling is done, it is a requirement that risk-taking be minimised by having proper equipment, and by strict adherence to safety procedures. Bar staff should be provided with information on weight, centre of gravity and any special handling requirements for any load, in addition to being trained to handle equipment properly.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are the second most common cause of accidents in the bar. About 75% of all tripping accidents are caused by obstructions. Areas outside and walkways to cellars, stores and cold rooms can be the worst housekeeping areas. Spills are a common occurrence in the sector. Trailing cables can also be a common occurrence.
Cuts, Bruises and the Use of Knifes
Many accidents occur as a result of items slipping or moving while being cut, or by knives not moving in the required direction. Accidents should be recorded and investigated as required to prevent incidents reoccurring.
Hazardous Substances (CoSHH)
Within bar activities some hazardous substances may be used to clean beerlines, wash glasses, etc. Appropriate training should be given to all staff on how to handle these substances safely, what personal protective equipment should be worn and how to wear it, identifying hazardous chemicals through the labelling and how to correctly store the chemicals. See Use of Hazardous Substances for further information.
All bars are required to have first aid supplies available to deal with cuts or lacerations. It is important that these items are in date and suitable for the hazards that staff and patrons in this area are exposed to.
Some pressurised equipment such as gas cylinders or coffee machines may be used within bar areas and these have to be properly managed. See Use of Commercial Coffee Machine section for further details and information
Conflict and Violence in Bars
Preventing and handling aggressive or potentially violent situations in the hospitality industry and especially bars and nightclubs (because of alcohol) is unfortunately a common area of concern.
Techniques used for Prevention of Violence:
Management skills and style: firmness and fairness, set clear and consistent standards, create sociable atmosphere, combine firmness with fairness, be friendly, but professional.
Monitoring and surveillance: know the danger signals, changing behaviours and conduct rowdiness, drunken behaviour and anti-social antics, large groups forming with opposing opinions, use low profile monitoring techniques, covert CCTV cameras, undercover security personnel, management and seniors collect glasses and clean tables combine monitoring with sociability, talking and engaging with your guests relating small stories of current affairs, sport and family events coming up, intervene early but tactfully.
Calming strategies: get away from audience, stay calm, never respond to provocation, use relaxed non aggressive body language be assertive not aggressive.
Control: calm before control be clear about your requirements de-personalize the conflict always allow face saving, the more respect you show the more confused the guest becomes and they are not able to sustain the argument.
Closing time: have a clear and consistent message (for example last orders do you flash the lights call last orders verbally) maintain a regular routine that everyone understands conduct a gradual wind down be always firm but polite when dealing with the end of the evening session. Disorderly conduct and crowd control: the total environment you place your customers, active monitoring, prevention, intervention, an integrated approach to create a sociable atmosphere and happy satisfied customers.
Questions to Consider
- Has a suitable and sufficient risk assessment been carried out for the bar activities?
- Does this risk assessment identify all of the hazards involved at the bar?
- Have all staff been given relevant training to ensure that they understand the safety procedures to follow whilst carrying out bar activities?
- Has suitable training on how to deal with violence and aggression been given to all staff?
- Are First Aid supplies available at the bar?
- Are these supplies plentiful and in date?
- Is lone working at the bar limited especially at night or when opening up/closing?
- Where lone working cannot be reduced is there a safe system of work in place to ensure that the lone worker can raise the alarm if they are in any danger?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.