In addition to being faced with the dangers of sharp instruments, hot surfaces, food and liquids, kitchen workers face the daily risk of work injuries by having to work in environments where electricity and water are often uncomfortably close to one another.
The close proximity of water and electricity in kitchen environments is potentially lethal. Work accidents can, for example, result from electrical equipment being touched with wet hands; water splashing into equipment and causing sparks, which in turn may result in explosions and/or fire. Adding heat into the equation can lead to melted wires that again may cause injuries by electrocution, electrical burns or burns by fire.
Preventing workplace accidents
In order to prevent employees being injured at work, kitchen owners must ensure sockets, switches and electrical equipment are positioned at a minimum horizontal distance of 30 cm (approximately one foot) from sinks. Dishwashers, fridges, and so on, should also be fitted either well away from areas where water is used. Appliances that are fitted below worktops should be controlled by switched fuse connections mounted above the worktops for safe and easy access. Naturally, it is necessary to keep equipment, appliances and flexible leads in perfect condition.
Avoiding injuries at work
Kitchen workers can also help to minimise the risk of workplace injuries by never:
- Touching or using switches and electrical equipment with wet hands.
- Wrapping flexible leads around appliances that are still warm.
- Cleaning appliances while still plugged in.
- Filling kettles or steam irons while plugged in.
- Trying to remove toast stuck in toasters with metal knives.
Electricity, water, hot surfaces and flexible wires make a potentially lethal mixture and it is vital for employers and employees to take special care and every necessary precaution to minimise the risk of accidental injuries.
If you were hurt at work and your employer or another employee is responsible for the work-related accident causing your injury, you may be entitled to make an industrial injury claim. Find out if you have a chance of succeeding with a compensation claim by completing the compensation calculator on the official Accident Advice Helpline website.
Claiming for compensation
Another alternative is to call one of this well-established law firm’s helpful and friendly advisers on 0800 689 0500. Your call will be free and perfectly confidential and you will be under no obligation to claim. If you do decide to claim, you will be assisted by a skilled lawyer under a conditional fee agreement.
Date Published: March 12, 2014
Author: David Brown