The importance of bar cellar safety is being highlighted by Drinks Ireland|Beer, ahead of the busy Christmas period.

New figures show that almost 2,500 bars in Ireland have signed up to a safety programme aimed at reducing injuries and ill health associated with working in bar cellars.

Since 2017, Drinks Ireland|Beer and the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) have been rolling out an initiative designed to address safety issues via an online risk assessment tool. Operators of licensed premises can carry out risk assessments on, and identify what needs to be done to reduce the risk.

Possible hazards can include impacts from falling kegs, gas bottles and crates, exposure to gas when changing kegs, manual handling of kegs and crates, as well as slips, trips and falls.

In November 2017, 1604 licensed premises had signed up to the programme, increasing by 35% to 2464 by November 2019.

Jonathan McDade, Head of Drinks Ireland|Beer, said: “It’s good to see a steady increase in the safety programme to date, aimed at reducing the risks associated with working in bar cellars. It is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland and is very easy for bar owners to participate in. We’d encourage bar owners to keep safety in mind during the busy festive period, taking a refresh of the programme or signing up if they have not already done so.”

HSA Inspector Kay Baxter said: “The aim of this programme is to make pubs, restaurants and hotels safer to work in. We’d urge all licensed operators to use this free online risk assessment tool to create a safer working environment.”

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