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Health and Safety Update: Food and Drink Preparation Area Guidance

CHP buildings are designed with a forecast of the occupancy levels and refreshment hubs are planned in to accommodate that predicted occupancy. However, CHP recognise that the reality of tenant occupancy may pose difficulties with accessing and availability of the design-built refreshment hubs. In addition, with the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, tenants have initiated safety regimes to protect their staff which includes setting up ad-hoc ‘Tea Points’ in office spaces to limit person interactions.

Whilst CHP are opposed to unregulated food preparation areas outside of the approved fire protected kitchen hubs and any other CHP approved fire protected area, we appreciate the difficulties this approach creates.

Hot drink preparation involves a heat source which introduces a potential ignition source into the workplace. Drink preparation areas (Tea Points) must therefore be confined to designated areas to reduce the risk of fire by separating potential ignition sources from the significant amounts of combustible materials normally found in offices.

What is the definition of a Preparation Area?

A room or space designed for preparation of hot drinks. Only rooms with FR30 can be used for food preparation.

 

Do not introduce a drinks preparation area in a work/office room if a designated, and properly designed, kitchen hub is available close by.

If there are no kitchen hubs in the area then please discuss with your ORM if you can have a desk top fridge as there are certain rules that MUST be applied for this.

Do not put the following items in an office and in non FR30 Beverage bays:

  • Microwaves
  • Toasters
  • Toastie/Sandwich makers
  • Cooker/Hot rings

Do consider looking at other areas that have rooms that are FR30 (clean utility) and discuss with your ORM with regards to the possibility to change the room into a drinks Preparation area.

Do ensure that all your equipment has regular Portable Appliance Testing to meet your duty under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (PAT)

Do check your insurance to make sure you are covered for the desk top fridge in your workspace. Most insurance companies will not cover this, and you would be liable for any other tenants that have been disrupted by any inconvenience you may have caused if a fire should break out.

Do use alternate products such as large catering flasks which can stay hot for hours and easily refilled.

Please note that any unwanted fire evacuation or false alarms caused by the drink preparation arrangements will necessitate removal of the facilities.

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