Work-related accidents and injuries can be expensive for restaurant owners with losses in productivity and compensation payments. Despite the best health and safety procedures, accidents can occur in a workplace that includes cooking flames, cutting knives and several people working in a confined space. To avoid both personnel and financial losses safety is a top priority for many restaurant owners.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few kitchen safety measures to consider:
Wear proper attire
Provide work clothes for kitchen staff that are comfortable, practical and provides protection against splashes and spills from hot food. Closed-toed footwear avoids lacerations from dropped knives, chemical burns from cleaning products, scalds, and burns from hot oil and water.
Invest in non-slip mats
Kitchens can be messy places, and the floors can become wet and slippery. Aside from advising staff to wear sturdy shoes, many of the bigger kitchens invest in anti-slip mats to prevent falls. Various mat companies offer anti-slip mats. As well as protecting against slips, the better quality mats provide anti-fatigue foot support and padding for workers required to stand for long periods.
Choose different fire safety and prevention tools
Fires are a constant danger in kitchens. The most common fires in restaurant kitchens are pan fires where hot fat catches light. Water sprinkles may not be sufficient to put out kitchen fires and may worsen the danger if caused by an electrical fault. Fire blankets, CO2 extinguishers, fire exits and fire hoses and wet and dry sprinkler systems are all tools to consider when identifying the best way to stop a kitchen fire.
Provide proper signage
Falls and slips are usually due to hidden hazards, like wet or damaged floors and steps. In a busy working environment like a kitchen, provide signs to warn employees of possible hazards. Signs should be in high-contrast colours and conspicuously positioned.
Kitchens can be hazardous places without the proper safety measures in place. To make the work environment safe and productive, devise a check-list of potential hazards and consult the local fire authorities for advice.