This research examines the structures in place for health and safety management in a number of commercial catering kitchen workplaces within the hospitality industry. The culture of these organisations is considered in detail with special reference made to the position and influence of the chef on safety practices and organisational safety culture.
It is concluded that, in the workplaces examined, the chef is pivotal in establishing the climate and thus largely the culture of safety. In organisations where the chef had a positive attitude to safety, safety culture was good. Where the chef's attitude to safety was poor safety culture was poor even where more senior managers had a positive attitude. Even in organisations where safety culture was excellent, this came from senior managers but was passed down by appointing and retaining chefs who themselves shared a positive safety attitude.
It is concluded that if enforcement agencies are to maximise concordance with hospitality businesses they must appreciate and recognise the special role of the chef in kitchen workplaces, especially in determining safety climate. It follows from this that the hospitality sector may require a tailored approach to enforcement if compliance strategies are to be optimised.
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