Updated on Monday, 14ᵗʰ November, 2022
Your kitchen is a hotbed of activity – quite literally – with cooks, waiting staff and bussers rushing to serve your customers. With all this action taking place amidst fryers, grills, stoves and knives, the last thing you want is one of your staff injuring themselves. It can mean a temporary loss of resources, stressful insurance claims and increased pressure on your business.
When it comes to workplace accidents, prevention is definitely better than cure. Which is why we’ve put together a list of the most common kitchen injuries and what you can do to prevent them:
Keeping burns at bay
Being close to hot surfaces and open flames means that your kitchen crew is highly susceptible to burns. Reduce the risk of this happening by making it compulsory for them to wear flame retardant clothing with closely fitted sleeves. Remind chefs and cooks to keep pots covered and to lift lids away from themselves in case hot steam or boiling liquids spill out.
Also keep a close eye on cleaning-related chemicals. They’re often the reason for kitchen related burns. Store and use flammable chemicals away from heat and flames and keep a fire extinguisher within reach. An alternative is to use non-flammable, water based cleaning products.
Eliminating electric shock
Melted electrical sockets and frayed wiring put your staff at risk of an electric shock. Minimise the risk of this happening by regularly checking all kitchen equipment by making sure they’re away from sinks and burners.
You can reduce the risk of electric shock by:
- Not overloading sockets with multiple appliances
- Installing circuit breakers
- Not running cables across floors, through doorways and over sharp edges
Reducing the risk of slips and falls
Preventing falls is another reason to properly secure electrical cords. Encourage your staff to keep walkways and work areas clear of equipment and food scraps to eliminate slipping hazards.
If a staff member needs to access something stored up high, make sure they use a sturdy stepladder or enlist the help of a spotter.
Cutting down on slices and cuts
This is probably a no-brainer. Kitchen staff are constantly at risk of cuts from knives and slicers. But you can bring accidents of this type down by:
- Storing knives safely
- Stabilising cutting boards with a towel or rag
- Asking staff stay to focused while using sharp tools
While these tips will help increase safety, regular training and refreshers for your staff will go a long way in keeping your kitchen accident free. It will also help to have clear policies, first aid guides and safety equipment within easy reach of your staff.