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EmmaBruce  
#1 Posted : 31 January 2017 13:45:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
EmmaBruce

Hi all, I was just wondering what your opinions were on this:

I have recently asked that we purchase a toaster for use in a small staff kitchen. I was told that we could not because:

a) we have a fire sensor in the kitchen

b) 'we would be opening ourselves up to having to have health inspections if it were to become too much of a kitchen' (actual quote)

I have never, in all my career, had a health inspection carried out because of the existence of a toaster and a kettle (or in this case a hot water dispenser) in a kitchen so this feels like an excuse to me.

The kitchen is in the head office of our company, it is used by around 12 staff as well as those in and out for training. Staff on training do not generally prepare lunch in the building as it is either provided or they go back to their main work location. For clarification, the kitchen contains a microwave and a hot water dispenser (as well as white goods) we do not prepare food for other people in this kitchen and it is purely for those making or heating their own lunch.

What are your thoughts please?  

Ian Bell2  
#2 Posted : 31 January 2017 13:57:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

a) Yes you might get your fire alarm set off - what sort of fire detector is it? Some are more prone - a smoke detector might well be set off. On the other hand if its a 'rate of rise' heat detector, pretty unlikely from a toaster to set the alarm off. Either way, not a reason to not have a toaster.

b) You won't get inspected for food hygiene compliance by your local council. You aren't making/selling food as the nature of your business.

Its what it is, a normal welfare facility make simple snacks.

Who spouted this nonsense?

stonecold  
#3 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:15:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Its probably due to the fire detection. Your likely to have a smoke detector in your food/ kitchen area and a toaster WILL set this off....

You could change to a heat sensor but there is an obvious cost with that, thats probably the reason they said you cant have one.

stonecold  
#4 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:26:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

in regard to setting off the smoke detector....would lead to a site evacuation in most places I would imagine, again can be costly depending on the business....so this is prob a finacial decision not a safety one.

Andrew W Walker  
#5 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:29:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Andrew W Walker

Hi Emma.

As previously said- if its a smoke detector then I have no doubt that a toaster will set it off- people do tend to burn toast. Its not such a huge cost to replace it with a heat detector.

As for the comment about being inspected- rubbish.

I can't see any plausible reason why there shouldn’t be one.

Don't forget to brief them on the dangers of Acrylamide   ;-)

Ian Bell2  
#6 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:45:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

Originally Posted by: stonecold Go to Quoted Post

in regard to setting off the smoke detector....would lead to a site evacuation in most places I would imagine, again can be costly depending on the business....so this is prob a finacial decision not a safety one.


There are 12 people working here. So evacuation unlikely, as it should be easy to determine if its the toaster setting off the alarm. Only really a problem if part of a multiple occupancy business unit etc

Are we already in danger of losing a sense of proportion, in the traditional over zealous h&s way?

stonecold  
#7 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:48:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

I personally would change the sensor. Her company may not want to pay for it. Evacs can be costly. Maybe it is a shared site. 

Im not saying they are right im just guessing as to the reason behind it, Toasters often set off sensors, its happened at many our my companies offices over the years.

Invictus  
#8 Posted : 31 January 2017 14:53:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

A toaster whatever next you'll be wanting somewhere to sit and eat the taost. Just get the detector checked and if it's smoke change it, there is a cost but the staff will feel that they have benfitted and therefore will be happier. 

rick448  
#9 Posted : 31 January 2017 16:05:51(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
rick448

Not to mention the risk of cancer by having the toast over brown. They are obviously considering that...

RayRapp  
#10 Posted : 31 January 2017 17:00:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

How old is the smoke detector?

The reason I ask it was common practice to fit Ionisation smoke detectors but these are being phased out for optical smoke detectors, which are less sensitive to smoke but still sensitive enought determine the difference between a small amount of smoke and a real fire giving off smoke particles.    

O'Donnell54548  
#11 Posted : 01 February 2017 11:23:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
O'Donnell54548

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!

stonecold  
#12 Posted : 01 February 2017 11:30:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!

That prob wouldnt work as its likely to be a small kitchen so moving it away from the sensor is prob impractical


stonecold  
#13 Posted : 01 February 2017 11:34:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Toasters are a pain, when I was a facilities manager I lost count and how many false alarms we had across our offices due to staff forgetting about toast...or bringing their own toaster in without telling anyone...only solution we found was to move to heat sensors. 

RayRapp  
#14 Posted : 01 February 2017 11:43:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Originally Posted by: stonecold Go to Quoted Post

Toasters are a pain, when I was a facilities manager I lost count and how many false alarms we had across our offices due to staff forgetting about toast...or bringing their own toaster in without telling anyone...only solution we found was to move to heat sensors. 


Remove the heat sensor - do you mean the smoke detector? If so, then you expose the risk of a fire without warning. A heat detector instead of a smoke detector in kitchen areas is the sensible alternative because there would have a to be a considerable fire to activate a heat sensor.

stonecold  
#15 Posted : 01 February 2017 11:52:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Originally Posted by: RayRapp Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: stonecold Go to Quoted Post

Toasters are a pain, when I was a facilities manager I lost count and how many false alarms we had across our offices due to staff forgetting about toast...or bringing their own toaster in without telling anyone...only solution we found was to move to heat sensors. 


Remove the heat sensor - do you mean the smoke detector? If so, then you expose the risk of a fire without warning. A heat detector instead of a smoke detector in kitchen areas is the sensible alternative because there would have a to be a considerable fire to activate a heat sensor.

No, move from a smoke detector to a heat sensor. (rate of rise) Toasters set off smoke detectors.

RayRapp  
#16 Posted : 01 February 2017 12:01:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Apologies, misread your post. We are singing off the same hymn sheet.

thanks 1 user thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
stonecold on 01/02/2017(UTC)
stonecold  
#17 Posted : 01 February 2017 12:03:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

cheers, makes a change for people to agree on here :-0

Invictus  
#18 Posted : 02 February 2017 07:36:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!


@Sensible H&S, Really, why not go the whole hog and have training on it, you could add boiling a kettle and use of micro wave and that would fill half a day. Why not add the toast will be hot when it first comes out I have given gloves to our staff so they don't get burnt.

We have added a notice to the kettle saying 'water will be hot once boiled'

Xavier123  
#19 Posted : 03 February 2017 10:37:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Xavier123

As a health inspector myself, let me tell you that courtesy of all the increased funding from Government, there are now so many of us just kicking around, with insufficient work to do, that we're actively reinventing the definitions of a food business so we can target small offices with high risk foodstuffs like hot water.

thanks 1 user thanked Xavier123 for this useful post.
aud on 18/03/2021(UTC)
hannahbilson  
#20 Posted : 03 February 2017 12:49:47(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hannahbilson

You mean Fire Alarms?

Davey Gee  
#21 Posted : 09 February 2017 20:37:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Davey Gee

We have multiple toaster at work and also have a detection system. The two live happily together. However, not so much when people operate them directly under the low hanging cupboard.

If the teams can demonstrate that the toasters are serviceable, being looked after, tested, being cleaned and operated safely then my risk score stays in the green. Regular unplanned workplace inspections confirm this, supported by any incident data. All happy and common sense prevails :)
Striker84  
#22 Posted : 09 February 2017 21:29:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Striker84

Do you have a microwave?

Although this may seem irrelevant, employers must ensure means for heating food under welfare regulations. Dependant upon circumstances this could be seen as a means of heating particular food items.

Although I appreciate that companies will implement circumstantial policies is no toaster because of smoke alarms, it is important to remember legal and moral obligations so as other forum members suggest, the alarm system should/could be changed.

It really depends upon the importance of having the appliance.

Hope this helps
O'Donnell54548  
#23 Posted : 10 February 2017 08:37:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
O'Donnell54548

Originally Posted by: Invictus Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!


@Sensible H&S, Really, why not go the whole hog and have training on it, you could add boiling a kettle and use of micro wave and that would fill half a day. Why not add the toast will be hot when it first comes out I have given gloves to our staff so they don't get burnt.

We have added a notice to the kettle saying 'water will be hot once boiled'


Thank you, I suppose you think the other suggestions to spend money changing the type of detector are more practical because people at work are unable to complete the simple task of making a slice of toast! Toasters DO NOT activate smoke alarms, burning toast does. I agree that we have far more important issues on which to spend our resources, but if being flippant helps you make it through the day then please carry on.
Invictus  
#24 Posted : 10 February 2017 08:48:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Invictus Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!


@Sensible H&S, Really, why not go the whole hog and have training on it, you could add boiling a kettle and use of micro wave and that would fill half a day. Why not add the toast will be hot when it first comes out I have given gloves to our staff so they don't get burnt.

We have added a notice to the kettle saying 'water will be hot once boiled'


Thank you, I suppose you think the other suggestions to spend money changing the type of detector are more practical because people at work are unable to complete the simple task of making a slice of toast! Toasters DO NOT activate smoke alarms, burning toast does. I agree that we have far more important issues on which to spend our resources, but if being flippant helps you make it through the day then please carry on.

Sorry did I come across as being flippant I didn't mean to I was being serious. This type of thing drags H&S backwards and not forwards we should be trying to evolve H&S and by calling employees in to train them how to use a toaster is degrading. H&S should be based around risks created by work and not everyday tasks that are completed away from work.

If I was asked to turn up for someone to show me hoe to use a toaster the second word would be OFF. That is just a peranal opinion and also that of my colleagues, as I have just asked about 20 of them.

stonecold  
#25 Posted : 10 February 2017 09:18:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

I agree with Invictus. A SSW for using a toaster seems like an unusual solution.

Edited by user 10 February 2017 09:54:45(UTC)  | Reason: typo

WatsonD  
#26 Posted : 10 February 2017 09:21:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

This to me is where H&S Practitioners can easily get it wrong. Yes there are risks, but we are looking at people making toast. Something many of us do every day.

I agree with Invictus that we need to move H&S forward. Start writing SSW for using a toaster and you will lose them.

That said a bit of thought as to the siting of the taster and an emphasis on regular emptying of the crumb tray, with some follow-up reminders; or better still, if you use it yourself regularly, then make a point of loudly emptying it yourself when there are spectators present to witness (and hopefully take note).

But other than that, when all is said and done: it is a toaster - and I would wager that too much time spent on toaster issues would lead many to suspect that you have nothing better to do!

stuart46  
#27 Posted : 10 February 2017 09:34:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
stuart46

Hi all,

A question regarding the provision of equipment to heat food. Gary states above that employers are obliged to provide this under welfare regulations. Is that correct as I can't say I've come across that requirement before? If someone could point me in the right direction I can consider that my lesson for the day.

As an aside, I agree with a sensible approach to toaster safety. One of our directors just said no when one was requested. H&S got the blame but it was soon forgotten.

Thanks.

stonecold  
#28 Posted : 10 February 2017 09:58:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Originally Posted by: stuart46 Go to Quoted Post

Hi all,

A question regarding the provision of equipment to heat food. Gary states above that employers are obliged to provide this under welfare regulations. Is that correct as I can't say I've come across that requirement before? If someone could point me in the right direction I can consider that my lesson for the day.

As an aside, I agree with a sensible approach to toaster safety. One of our directors just said no when one was requested. H&S got the blame but it was soon forgotten.

Thanks.

Garys post was a tiny bit misleading. If you can obtain hot food from a nearby shop that would be acceptable as far as I understand it. See below

Welfare Regs ACOP

229 Seats in work areas can be counted as eating facilities provided they are
in a sufficiently clean place and there is a suitable surface on which to place
food. Eating facilities should include a facility for preparing or obtaining a hot
drink, such as an electric kettle, a vending machine or a canteen. Workers who work during hours or at places where hot food cannot be obtained in, or reasonably near, the workplace should be provided with the means for
heating their own food.

Edited by user 10 February 2017 09:59:48(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

stuart46  
#29 Posted : 10 February 2017 10:01:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
stuart46

Thanks Stonecold. I had read that but wasn't sure if there was something more direct elsewhere that I'd missed.

O'Donnell54548  
#30 Posted : 10 February 2017 11:53:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
O'Donnell54548

Originally Posted by: Invictus Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Invictus Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Sensible Health & Safety, site toaster as far from the detector as practicable, introduce SSW (i.e. toaster not to be left unattended when in use, regular emptying of crumb tray etc) monitor any false alarms from toaster use, inform staff if it starts to become a problem it will be removed. Job done!


@Sensible H&S, Really, why not go the whole hog and have training on it, you could add boiling a kettle and use of micro wave and that would fill half a day. Why not add the toast will be hot when it first comes out I have given gloves to our staff so they don't get burnt.

We have added a notice to the kettle saying 'water will be hot once boiled'


Thank you, I suppose you think the other suggestions to spend money changing the type of detector are more practical because people at work are unable to complete the simple task of making a slice of toast! Toasters DO NOT activate smoke alarms, burning toast does. I agree that we have far more important issues on which to spend our resources, but if being flippant helps you make it through the day then please carry on.

Sorry did I come across as being flippant I didn't mean to I was being serious. This type of thing drags H&S backwards and not forwards we should be trying to evolve H&S and by calling employees in to train them how to use a toaster is degrading. H&S should be based around risks created by work and not everyday tasks that are completed away from work.

If I was asked to turn up for someone to show me hoe to use a toaster the second word would be OFF. That is just a peranal opinion and also that of my colleagues, as I have just asked about 20 of them.

I agree, maybe it was the way I put what I was saying across, and I apology for the misuse of the phrase SSW. Of course I am not suggesting staff require training in using a toaster (although I once had someone put an egg in a microwave which promptly exploded when they opened the door), I was thinking more along the lines of having a notice in the kitchen about the use of the toaster to prevent unwanted alarms. When I made mention of sensible H&S, I was agreeing with want you have said about spending too much time on these trivial issues when there are real safety issues to attend to. As for the comment about you being flippant, now you know why I am known as Mr Grumpy :-) 



User is suspended until 21/12/2022 16:53:00(UTC) Bob Hansler  
#31 Posted : 10 February 2017 13:48:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bob Hansler

Hi Emma

For the kitchen,  have your people install a heat detector.  Any good fire alarm conpany will guide you on this so please contact one.  Any problems drop me a line and will send web sites of good firms.

Kind regards

johnmurray  
#32 Posted : 10 February 2017 13:59:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
johnmurray

I suggest a notice:
"Please ensure this device is turned off and unplugged before using a metal implement to remove stuck food items"
Yes. Someone did try to get a crumpet out with a fork.
pokisha  
#33 Posted : 04 January 2021 18:04:58(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
pokisha

Originally Posted by: EmmaBruce Go to Quoted Post

Hi all, I was just wondering what your opinions were on this:

I have recently asked that we purchase a toaster for use in a small staff kitchen. I was told that we could not because:

a) we have a fire sensor in the kitchen

b) 'we would be opening ourselves up to having to have health inspections if it were to become too much of a kitchen' (actual quote)

I have never, in all my career, had a health inspection carried out because of the existence of a toaster and a kettle (or in this case a hot water dispenser) in a kitchen so this feels like an excuse to me.

The kitchen is in the head office of our company, it is used by around 12 staff as well as those in and out for training. Staff on training do not generally prepare lunch in the building as it is either provided or they go back to their main work location. For clarification, the kitchen contains a microwave and a hot water dispenser (as well as white goods) we do not prepare food for other people in this kitchen and it is purely for those making or heating their own lunch.

What are your thoughts please?  

Shifting it maybe can solve the issue.

nglivesey  
#34 Posted : 18 March 2021 11:57:04(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
nglivesey

Emma, definitely install a heat detector. 

I had a similar issue with my business recently and this seemed to appease everyone involved.

www.kettleandtoastersets.co.uk  ran an amusing blog post on something similar until recently, last time I checked though they'd removed all their posts for some reason, I'll see if I can find it.

Roundtuit  
#35 Posted : 18 March 2021 12:31:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported as clickbait both #33 and #34

Edited by user 18 March 2021 12:33:14(UTC)  | Reason: added post numbers

Roundtuit  
#36 Posted : 18 March 2021 12:31:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported as clickbait both #33 and #34

Edited by user 18 March 2021 12:33:14(UTC)  | Reason: added post numbers

Messey  
#37 Posted : 19 March 2021 06:31:13(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

We strictly control the use of toasters in our head office building. With an occupancy of 6,000 staff, someone will from time to time burn the toast - its inevitable.  We had a spate of idiotic events that caused us to effective ‘ban’ toasters unless in the large staff restaurant area

Even with heat detection in tea points, none have openable windows so to clear the smoke. In the past, staff have resorted to opening and closing the door rapidly to waft the smoke into the corridor…. where there is smoke detection installed!! If two heads are activated it will start to turn staff out into the street. Our extensive aspirating (VESDA) smoke detection in server rooms is particularly vulnerable to overheated Hovis.

Avoiding an unwanted evacuation or any disruption is by far the main aim. With that many people evacuating the building, there is a small risk of a trip or fall, but this is NOT a H&S policy, but a business continuity one.

So we restrict the toaster to the canteen. Staff have grumbled its a 18 floor hike to warm up bread, and those on shifts in the 24/7 building have been vocal about no toaster being available out of working hours. 

My view is that if you really cannot go without toast for a 8 to 10 hour shift and its effecting your physical or mental health, this is a OH issue not a H&S one. Let them eat cake (or sandwiches).

biker1  
#38 Posted : 19 March 2021 11:47:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

I think it's important to avoid being over-restrictive and a jobsworth, and maintain a sense of perspective. On the other hand, people cannot always be relied on to use equipment sensibly, and I have often wondered why their houses haven't burnt down. I once found a kettle, standing in a pool of water due to leaking, in an office kitchen, still happily being used. I unplugged it and cut the plug off to prevent it being used again. Made me as popular as the pox, but sometimes people need to be protected from themselves.

Roundtuit  
#39 Posted : 19 March 2021 12:43:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is four years since the OP and the last answer in the thread before its hi-jack by clickbaiters

The question poser last visited in July 2018

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 19/03/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 19/03/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#40 Posted : 19 March 2021 12:43:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is four years since the OP and the last answer in the thread before its hi-jack by clickbaiters

The question poser last visited in July 2018

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 19/03/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 19/03/2021(UTC)
peter gotch  
#41 Posted : 19 March 2021 18:55:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

4 years is almost like yesterday given some recent exhumations on this site.

Bigmac1  
#42 Posted : 07 April 2021 08:06:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Bigmac1

God forbid you actually push the boat out and get a microwave, then you will have the health inspector come down on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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