Accidents at work can be a traumatising experience. As a registered law firm, Accident Advice Helpline has over 15 years’ experience in all areas of personal injury compensation. That makes us experts in the field of work-related injuries and we publish these handy guides so that you can help to prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace. In this article, we take a closer look at kitchen accidents, particularly when lifting lids and handling steam.
How can lifting lids in the kitchen cause an injury?
Lids are used to cover cooking food, often at extremely high temperatures. The handle of a lid can become scalding to the touch, causing severe burns to the hands and fingers. This can also be exacerbated by dropping the lid which can lead to a foot or ankle injury. Lifting the lid from a pot can also cause a sudden expulsion of steam.
Why is steam so dangerous?
Steam is silent but also extremely dangerous. Steam is water that has been heated so much it has lost its normal chemical structure as a liquid and becomes a hot vapour, literally a boiling gas. Steam can cause severe burns and should be treated with caution.
How can I prevent injuries when working with hot pots and pans and steam?
If possible, use an oven glove to remove the lid from the pot or pan to prevent scalding. When opening a pot to check the contents, it is important to open the lid away from you so that the steam is not rising into your face.
How can I treat a steam burn?
As with any other burn, you should immediately pour cold water on the affected area. The burn will move deeper into the skin if not stopped. It is important not to use ice, as ice will damage the skin and cause more pain. Apply aloe vera to the burn and cover with a sterilised gauze. Remember to clean the wound twice daily and drink plenty of water, as fluids are lost during the burn and recovery process.
Accident in a restaurant or industrial kitchen
If you work in a kitchen or restaurant and you’ve suffered a burn as the result of contact with steam or hot lids, then you may be entitled to compensation, provided the accident happened within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: February 13, 2014
Author: David Brown