Health and Safety Checklist: The Ultimate Guide for Hospitality

Compliance is an essential part of the day to day running of any hospitality business. How can you make sure you're safe and protected?
Joe Cripps
September 15, 2020
Team member using health and safety compliance checklist

Would you feel confident if an EHO walked in right now? Do you have the records to prove you’re compliant? Not sure where to start?

Don’t fret; we’re here to help. This health and safety checklist guide will help you stay compliant and protect your team, customers and business.

What is a health and safety compliance checklist?

A health and safety compliance checklist is a tool used to reinforce best practices and help you comply with safety regulations. Performing regular inspections using health and safety checklist templates prevents accidents at work, and will help protect your business during an EHO inspection.

What should it cover?

Your health and safety checklist should cover the following:

  1. Opening checks - unlocking exit doors, looking for evidence of pests
  2. Ensuring staff are fit for work
  3. Hazard evaluation
  4. Adequate ventilation
  5. Health and safety poster displayed
  6. Fire evacuation procedure displayed
  7. Sink and water checks
  8. Allergen separation
  9. Fridge and freezer temperature checks
  10. Check first aid box
  11. Closing checks - storing food safely, turning electrical equipment off
  12. Cleaning tasks

This list covers the basics, but what should you do next?

The importance of a health and safety audit checklist

First things first, you need to review your operations to find out how safe your business is.

Running a health and safety audit helps you identify risks and assess whether your procedures are legally compliant.

Health and safety audits involve:

  • Hazard identification
  • Staff training
  • Working out where your strengths and weaknesses are
  • Recommending improvements

After the risk assessment, you'll know what needs to be improved and which measures to put in place.

How to ensure you’re compliant

A good health and safety checklist should be thorough, covering a wide range of issues, from hazards to hygiene.

Ensure you’re EHO compliant with the following:

Maintenance checks

It’s essential to cover everything from inspection to repairs, every day. And to fill out a maintenance log, so managers know what’s going on.

Your main considerations should include hazard identification, equipment checks and inspecting the working environment.

Examples of common hazards:

  • Trip hazards – cables on the floor, loose or damaged flooring, steps etc.
  • Broken equipment –  machinery, appliances, tools etc.
  • Hazardous materials
  • Exposed wiring

Food safety checks

From allergens to sell-by dates, food can pose many health and safety risks. Avoid this by:

  • Labelling food with correct dates
  • Covering chilled food
  • Discarding out of date food
  • Filling out a food temperature log sheet
  • Ensuring food isn’t cross-contaminated
  • Checking food deliveries thoroughly
  • Storing food properly

Opening/closing procedures

Check everything is running as it should be, both at open and close.

Opening checks

Whatever time you open, some things need actioning:

  1. Fridge temperature checks
  2. Are the staff fit for work?
  3. Check for hazards
  4. Check for pests
  5. Check water
  6. Exit doors unlocked
  7. Safety information displayed
  8. Check working environment, e.g. ventilation, temperature etc.
  9. Toilet checks

Closing checks

Whoever runs the restaurant and bar closing checks is responsible for following the procedures correctly, from cleaning checks to wastage reports.

No unnecessary electrical equipment should be running and no taps left on. This might seem obvious, but without checking, it's easy to forget something, leaving your business unprotected.

Covid health and safety checks

It’s more important than ever to follow health and safety guidelines and protect your business, team and customers during the pandemic.

In line with government advice, the following checks need to be carried out:

  • Customer registration checks
  • Social distancing checks
  • Hourly cleaning checks

How to deal with exceptions

Record keeping is a vital tool in your armoury:

  • Use incident report forms in the case of accidents
  • Carry out legionella checks regularly
  • Fill in a foreign object form if something is found where it shouldn’t be
  • Carry out fire extinguisher checks every month
  • Complete a report form if an allergic reaction takes place
  • Take photographic evidence

Health and safety checklist template

Need a helping hand? Check out our health and safety checklist templates.

Want an easier way to protect your business?

Compliance is only half of the story. With so much to do each day, how do you know if/when the right checks have been carried out and appropriate action taken?

Scribbling numbers onto paper and spreadsheets can make it hard to keep track of what has actually been done.

Trail is the new way to manage teams, creating a simple list of tasks that are easily followed.

We’ve created a library of templates including new Covid-19 measures with additional cleaning and compliance tasks so you can be sure you're operating as safely as possible during this period.  

Get started for free

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