Protecting the Hospitality Industry Against Gas Hazards

Posted on: December 18, 2019 by RMS Hospitality

For restaurants, bars, and cafes, getting a bad Yelp review or unfavorable local social media buzz can cut into the flow of business and the potential for new customers to come in. From undercooked food to rude wait staff to claims related to slips and falls or burnt tongues, no restaurant can afford bad press.

But when it comes to more serious accidents, like a gas leak or related hazards, there’s more than just a hiccup in the regular dinner crowd to worry about.

While slips and falls can be seen in the open, gas leaks go unseen, wreaking havoc on patrons and staff before anyone can locate the issue. Gas leaks, while not common, are effective enough to cause major injury to people inside a restaurant, making it important to protect against in more ways than one.

CO Leaks

Broken or disconnected lines in restaurants have led to deaths in restaurants, as a buildup of CO can cause problems in bathrooms, kitchens, supply closets, and main eating areas. Employees have passed out in stairwells and delivery drivers have collapsed without anyone around due to CO2 leaks.

Bulk and liquid CO delivery systems have seen major growth in the last few years as the cost to switch from smaller CO cylinders to larger, bulk tanks provide huge cost savings for restaurants. However, and this should come as no surprise, saving money shouldn’t come before saving lives.

Those in the hospitality industry have had to be more diligent about checking their lines and supply tanks to look for leaks, saving them and their patrons from potential danger.

Preventing CO Injuries and Claims

Restaurants, bars, and cafes have a number of options when it comes to curtailing the potential for a carbon monoxide outbreak and the injuries and deaths that come with it.

  • Licensed Contractors: It’s important to have bulk CO systems installed by a bonded contractor. In some cases, the bulk supplier may install the equipment, but if a restaurant chooses to use an outside contractor to install the CO, it’s important to make sure they are also trained and insured for hazardous gas line installs.
  • Posting Signage: It’s also important to have the right signage up to make sure everyone is aware of the potential dangers around them. CO warning signs should be made clearly visible anywhere it is stored. If an indoor cylinder or tank is present, the signs should be posted outside the room where the tank is housed. If tanks are installed outside, signs should be posted accordingly.
  • Training for Employees: Employees should know what to do when they are around a gas leak. If they start to feel faint or dizzy, do they know what to do? This is important to run by them and make sure they are prepared for potential situations like these. While CO is odorless and colorless, it can cause sharp burns inside the sinuses. A gas leak policy should be in place for both CO and any other hazardous gases and employees should know what to do if they accidentally disconnect or damage a CO line.
  • Installing Storage Safety Alarms: Safety alarms should be installed to protect customers and workers around stored CO in the hospitality industry. These devices are audible and visual alarms that can detect certain levels of CO in a space and send signals to the local fire department if these levels go past a certain limit.
  • Staying Insured: As mentioned above, it’s bad enough to have a claim against a restaurant that’s highlighted by raw meat or a slip and fall case. And while hospitality insurance programs for restaurants are out there to protect against these claims, protecting against high-cost claims related to has leaks can drain a business’s funds. Hospitality insurance programs are effective in covering a restaurant or bar or venue when it comes to CO leaks and their potential hazards. Having this coverage installed can prevent long-term issues for a business, which is important when trying to get back up and running following a gas leak claim.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

Posted in: blog Hospitality Insurance Restaurant Insurance

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