Working in a Bar Safely: Inert Gases

Certificate III in HospitalityMaintaining your own safety is paramount when working in hospitality establishments,This includes understanding the safety requirements that are in place for the use of inert gases for beverage dispensing systems, and with the hazards associated with compressed and refrigerated gases.

Compressed inert gas systems consist of:

  • Supply systems – cylinders, single and multiple, refrigerated liquid CO2 supply, on-site gas generation and mixing and compressed air
  • Distribution systems – regulator boards, safety devices and piping
  • Dispensing applications – post-mix and ready-to-drink (pre-mix) applications, bottled wine dispensing, draught beer and ready-to-drink kegs

Due to all gas systems being under pressure, it is possible that the system and equipment connections may develop leaks, causing build up of inert gases in cellars and low level areas which pose hazards for personnel working in those areas.

Systems need to be labelled and appropriately signed. Examples of signs required include warning notices, operating instructions, inert gas warning signs, safe operating procedures, isolation valves, safety valves and pipeline contents.

Safe handling practices      

  • Avoid knocking cylinders about. Prevent damage to cylinders from impact from other objects (e.g. crashing into other cylinders). Some cylinders (e.g. acetylene) may react violently after being excessively shaken, heated, or knocked about.
  • Cylinders should never be used as rollers to move other objects.
  • When moving cylinders avoid rolling them. Ensure that an appropriate mechanical handling device (e.g. cylinder trolley with a restraining strap) is utilised
  • Eye protection, safety shoes and gloves should be worn in gas cylinder storage and handling areas.

Leaning about safety in bar areas is a key learning objective of the Certificate III in Hospitality.