The combination of hot surfaces, electricity leads and water makes every kitchen a highly dangerous working environment. Home owners and employers therefore, need to take certain precautions to prevent accidental injuries.
Preventing kitchen accidents
The first step in preventing injuries in the kitchen is to ensure all sockets within kitchens are positioned a minimum of 30 cm (12 in; horizontally) away from sinks and water outlets. Sockets should also be positioned where they can be easily accessed and maintained in good working order.
Dishwashers, fridges or washing machines underneath worktops often make access to sockets difficult. Such appliances must be controlled via switched fuse connection units mounted above worktops. Sockets likely to be utilised as outlets for portable outdoor equipment must be protected by RCDs (residual current devices) designed to prevent injuries by electric shocks. These devices provide far greater protection against personal injuries and electrical fires than regular fuses or even circuit breakers.
To prevent injuries at work or in the kitchen at home, it is also necessary to never:
- Touch sockets or operate appliances with wet hands
- Leave electrical appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, etc) running unattended
- Wrap flexible leads round still warm appliances
- Try to repair still plugged-in appliances
- Try to get toast out of plugged-in toasters with metal knives or similar implements
- Overload sockets with multiple appliances, as this may cause overheating and/or electrical fires
- Store items on top of microwaves or other appliances to avoid overheating through blocked ventilation
Preventing injuries by electrocution also means always to:
- Check and regularly maintain the condition of flexible leads and appliances
- Thoroughly clean grills and ovens to prevent build-ups of grease or fat which could cause fire
- Defrost freezers and fridges regularly (at least once every 12 months)
- Ensure smoke detectors are working correctly in case of emergencies
Most of these precautions are based on simple common sense, so it is quite surprising how many employees are injured at work because such safety measures are not in place or practised.
If you suffered a workplace injury because sockets and/or appliances were positioned or operated irresponsibly or not maintained in good working order, you may be entitled to industrial injury compensation. Make a call to Accident Advice Helpline to confirm your eligibility to claim and find out how to claim today. The helpline, a free phone number, is available 24/ 7 and manned by experienced, helpful advisors. Calls for advice concerning claim eligibility and other claim related questions are obligation-free and confidential.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice