If you own a cafe or restaurant in ACT, you may be the subject of an inspection program that WorkSafe ACT is launching this week.

Work Safety Commissioner, Mark McCabe, said inspectors will be visiting eateries and ensuring they are “doing the right thing” when it comes to health and safety.

Mr McCabe explained that injuries resulting from “manual tasks, fires, slips, trips and falls in this industry impose a burden on employers and particularly on workers”.

So, WorkSafe ACT decided to take a stand. Mr McCabe said inspectors would take an “educative approach” to health and safety on their visits.

They will be making sure cafe and restaurant owners are aware of the legislation regulating this industry – such as the ‘Work Health and Safety Act 2011’ – and checking how well ACT’s eateries are complying with it.

The inspectors will also look at the control measures that have been put in place to eliminate and mitigate hazards in the workplace, and decide whether they are appropriate.

If you would like to prepare your cafe or restaurant for inspection, you may want to evaluate the emergency and first aid procedures you have in place, current working conditions, any protective equipment or training you provide your staff with, and chemical storage and handling practices.

If you think any of these are below par, you should take this opportunity to rethink your practices and make minimising risk of accidents a priority.

You may also want to contact MGA Insurance Brokers and consider your small business or retail insurance options.

Mr McCabe said that WorkSafe ACT’s inspectors can and will hand out Improvement or Prohibition Notices if they discover “serious issues”, so it’s best to take a proactive approach to health and safety.