Josper assists HSE with safety review

Josper, the market leader in indoor charcoal ovens, has updated its instruction sheets to reflect the latest safety advice in the wake of an HSE review of ‘solid fuel appliances’ in commercial settings.

Earlier this week, the HSE reiterated its stance on the need for the industry to ensure end-users are made fully aware of the risks associated with solid fuel appliances, specifically the potential exposure to carbon dioxide if not fitted or operated correctly.

HSE has held talks with various industry stakeholders over the last two months, including Josper, which is represented in the UK market by Jestic.

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In correspondence with Catering Insight prior to the HSE’s comments this week, Jestic’s sales director, Steve Morris, said the company takes safety very seriously and has engaged fully with the HSE in assisting it to understand the operation of its ovens.

“The HSE’s original letter stated that they were investigating cases of carbon monoxide exposure in neighbouring properties to a kitchen,” he said. “This indicated clearly to us that, in this instance, the fault would appear to lie with leakage from extract ductwork.

“Any item of equipment that relies on air for combustion, such as gas cookers, fryers or combis, will create harmful fumes that are only dangerous if not dealt with efficiently. The difference with any Josper-style oven is that the charcoal continues to create fumes until it is burnt out.”

Morris said that the company had now updated its instruction sheets, which were already comprehensive.

Among its major recommendations are that dealers and users consult with it to establish the correct sizing of ventilation canopy for their Josper.

“We have a working partnership with the UK’s leading ventilation equipment manufacturer and we are continually researching best solutions for a wide range of applications,” said Morris.

Jestic advises that operators install a commercial CO alarm in the kitchen, noting that it is an inexpensive addition that can be linked to the operation of the extract fan to ensure complete safety.

If users are not able to leave an extract fan running on ‘minimum’ overnight, they are advised to leave it on for about three hours after service, or until the charcoal has burnt out. Turning the fan on for an hour before the next service will also ensure the environment is clear of CO.

The HSE said this week that those who “create the risk” must own and mitigate against it, but confirmed that it intends to make more generic guidance on the safe operation of solid fuel appliances available to the industry as soon as a full consultation with specialists on the technical aspects has been carried out.

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