Working in a restaurant is hard work, and those who work in the back of the house face numerous hazards that can result in injury. There are certain common injuries that kitchen workers receive.
Although some injuries are not preventable, many of them are. Both employees and employers should take steps to reduce the chances of injury.
Although injuries can occur to both the front and back of the house employees, those who work in the kitchen face a greater risk. FSR Magazine discusses some of the most common injuries that occur:
- Cuts, punctures and lacerations from knives, slicers and grinders
- Burns from grease, grills and stoves
- Sprains and strains from bending, lifting and slipping
- Fractures and head injuries from slips and falls
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses strategies to prevent accidents and injuries. To prevent cuts from knives, workers should wear cut-resistant gloves, use sharpened knives and use proper cutting techniques. There should be safety guards on equipment such as mixers and slicers.
To prevent burns, strategies include wearing gloves, using automation to empty used cooking oil, employing splash guards, turning stoves off when not in use and turning the handles of pans in. To prevent injuries that occur from slips and falls, someone should clean up spilled liquids and grease as soon as possible, and workers should wear slip-resistant shoes. Non-slip rubber mats and flooring are also effective.
To prevent strains and sprains, employees should use proper lifting techniques, use a ladder to reach high items and ask for help to carry heavy items. Workers should receive proper training to perform their specific tasks to further prevent injury.