Catering is generally defined as the provision of food services. As such, it embraces a range of occupations covering everything from food preparation to the serving of food.
Hazards for individuals working as catering staff
Hazards likely to put people working as catering staff at risk of having accidents at work can vary depending on the actual job a person has to do. The risk of injuries by slips, trips and falls, however, is ever-present for all men and women working as catering staff. Wet or greasy kitchen floors are just as likely to cause injuries by slipping as a spill or a little dropped food in the serving area of a café or restaurant, for example.
Trip hazards for anyone working as catering staff
Loose or damaged flooring, cluttered pathways and staircases, bags and packages can cause trip injuries to both those preparing food in a kitchen and those serving the food. A trip at the top of a poorly lit staircase could also result in a fall from height.
People working in kitchens may also sustain injuries by burning or scalding. Sharp kitchen knives represent a real risk of cutting injuries and the close proximity of water to electrical appliances could all too easily result in injuries by electrocution. Then, of course, there is the risk of overheating or malfunctioning appliances causing injuries by fire or explosions.
Like employers in any other industry, those in charge of catering staff have a duty of care to protect their employees’ health and safety. Imposed upon employers by relevant health & safety laws, rules and regulations, this duty of care legally requires catering industry employers to assess potential hazards and minimise the risk of these hazards causing workplace accidents.
Preventing catering accidents
Minimising risks and subsequently preventing work injuries includes:
- Keeping floors and stairways clean, dry and clutter-free, as well as providing adequate lighting and keeping these areas in good repair to prevent slip, trip or fall injuries
- Maintaining equipment in good working order
- Providing adequate training in the use of equipment and instruction in safe working procedures
- Where necessary, personal protective equipment (like oven gloves, for example) should also be provided.
If you were injured at work because your employer did nothing to protect you, there may be a case to answer for a work injury claim. Call our 24-hour advice line for more detailed information on claiming work injury compensation now. Our numbers for mobile phone and landline calls are 0333 500 0993 and 0800 689 0500 respectively.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown