Unless specific health and safety regulations are complied with, kitchens can be hazardous places for employees. What’s more, failure to comply with such regulations may also result in outbreaks of food poisoning among workers and/or customers.
Kitchen workers are often under high pressure and frequently have to handle hot foods, liquids and electrical or gas powered equipment in extremely crammed environments. Trip and slip injuries are extremely common under such circumstances. To prevent injuries by slipping or tripping is subsequently of utmost importance. Allowing floors to become wet, greasy or covered in trip hazards is therefore, not only ill-advised, but highly dangerous (and against the law).
Many kitchen accidents are caused by electrical equipment being used with wet hands or close to sources of water. In essence, it is ill-advised to operate this kind of equipment where it is likely to come into contact with water. Preventing work injuries by electrocution means keeping electrical appliances as far away from water as possible at all times.
Food poisoning risks
E.coli, salmonella, campylobacter and a whole army of other germs enter kitchens on staff members’ hands and on raw food, in particular raw meat and poultry. Inadvisable practices likely to result in bacteria spreading and eventually causing employees and/or customers contracting food poisoning include:
- Not washing hands after touching raw meat and bins, or after visiting the lavatory
- Not storing food at the correct temperature
- Not keeping all surfaces and utensils immaculately clean
Other factors likely to present a heightened risk of contamination include:
- Not washing fresh fruit or vegetables before use
- Allowing cross-contamination by allowing raw meat to touch other food items
- Not heating food thoroughly before serving
- Not replacing sponges, dish cloths, tea towels etc frequently
In short, in order to prevent people being infected with food poisoning, it is vital to store, handle and cook food correctly.
Other potential workplace injuries
In addition, workers face the risk of cutting injuries; burn or scalding injuries when handling hot pots and pans or working near hot cookers and ovens, and electrocution by faulty equipment.
If you suffered an injury at work because safe practices were not observed or equipment was not maintained adequately, you may qualify for suitable industrial injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline to learn more about claiming for personal injury compensation. The helpline can be reached 24/7 and calls are invariably kept confidential.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice