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Although recent government data indicates that restaurants and commercial kitchens are generally safer than many other workplaces, safety risks are still present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that work-related burns are disproportionately high among restaurant workers. The food service industry experiences the highest number of burns of any employment sector.
A recipe for accidents
- Steam, oil and grease, boiling soups, hot grills and ovens, and even exposed or improperly maintained wiring and equipment can all result in workplace burn injuries.
- The Burn Foundation has found that such injuries tend to occur when managers don’t enforce safety rules or when workers themselves are careless about safety.
- The potential for accidents is also greater when workers are tired, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or taking unnecessary risks.
- In this fast-paced industry, congested quarters also contribute to potential disaster; employees changing oil in a fryer or rushing a container of hot soup down a narrow aisle may crash into each other.
Tips for a burn-free kitchen
The Burn Foundation recommends these tips in order to protect yourself from burns at work:
- Wear protective gloves or mitts when handling hot pots or cooking with hot, deep-frying oil.
- Wear non-skid shoes to prevent slipping on wet or greasy tile floors.
- Extinguish hot oil/grease fires by sliding a lid over the top of the container.
- Never carry or move oil containers when the oil is hot or on fire.
- Avoid reaching over or across hot surfaces and burners; use barriers, guards or enclosures to prevent contact with hot surfaces.
- Read and follow directions for proper use of electrical appliances.
- Keep first-aid kits readily available.
- Make sure at least one person on each shift has first-aid training.
- Keep fire extinguishers accessible and up-to-date.
KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.