CO2 safety in bars and restaurants in New Zealand
There has been an increase in health and safety advisors promoting the need for CO2 safety alarms within the food and beverage industry in line with upgrades being implemented to workplace safety guidelines.
Significant effort and focus has been made towards reducing work related injuries since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 2015 across New Zealand. The new law has provided a platform for people to really change health and safety at work and has highlighted the risks and responsibilities of sustaining change for the long term.
Born out of the Health and Safety Act 2015 were the Healthy Work strategy and Harm Reduction Action plan. The New Zealand government has set a target of reducing work-related fatalities and serious injuries by at least 25% by 2020.
Why is CO2 a hazard in the workplace?
Ensuring that employees are safe in their working environment includes those working with and around carbon dioxide gas. CO2 is used throughout the beverage and hospitality industry and in the food manufacturing process, and although not harmful in small quantities an increase of just 1.5% can start to cause hazardous effects to humans.
CO2 becomes dangerous when leaks occur from cylinders used in the food and beverage industries for the carbonation of drinks, or used in packaging to ensure the freshness of food produce.
CO2 is also produced as a by product of the fermentation stage in the brewing process and can become lethal if not dealt with properly.
The hazard is increased further because CO2 is heavier than air, it therefore sinks to the floor and will collect in unknown pockets like cellars, confined spaces, rooms with partitions, tanks, silos and at the bottom of containers, where cleaning staff often operate.
CO2 leak detection solutions
Installing a fixed CO2 detection system will ensure that the area where the sensor is placed is continuously monitored, however a personal alarm should also be worn by those workers who are moving from site to site or it’s unknown whether there is a fixed solution in the risk area.
Our CO2BUDDY personal CO2 alarm can be worn by the person, protecting them from dangerous leaks in any facility they visit. The super lightweight personal CO2 alarm can be worn on the lanyard provided, or clipped to a belt or shirt pocket. With a quick response time the user will be alerted to any dangerous levels of CO2.
As part of the New Zealand’s Health And Safety Act 2015 employers have a duty of care to provide their workers with a safe working environment. Supplying them with a CO2BUDDY will ensure an employees immediate environment is safe wherever they go, or installing a fixed unit to ensure the risk area is monitored, notifying employees of an unsafe atmosphere before they enter the risk area, will help to satisfy this requirement.