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Kitchen Hazards
Introduction
A major area in restaurants and cafeterias
involved in on-the-job injuries is, of course, the
kitchen. Caution should be taken at all times.
Causes of Kitchen Hazards
Perhaps the greatest offenders causing both major and minor injuries are
knives, cleavers, peelers, and graters
Its also a good idea to warn co-workers when you put anything sharp in
wash water. "Knife in the water" is a common warning in many kitchen
areas. Those four words can help prevent serious cuts and puncture wounds.
Spills and liquids on the floor cannot always be avoided, but there is no
excuse for not wiping up spills or putting down an anti-slip rug to lessen the
danger of falls. When the floor is being mopped, put a warning sign or
barrier nearby. Slips and falls have caused many permanent injuries.
Food grinders are also hazardous. Never feed anything into them with your
handsuse a pusher. Garbage disposals can present the same hazard. Dont
reach into the disposal if it is stalled, without taking steps to prevent it from
being turned on.
Meat and cheese slicers are particularly dangerous, and
the temptation to hand feed, especially at the end of a
piece of food, must be avoided
Much modern kitchen equipment is electrically
operated. Be sure the equipment is properly grounded
or double insulated, especially in kitchens, where water
and moisture are plentiful. An electric shock can be
serious or even fatal.
Kitchens would be of little use without heat, and heat is
provided by stove burners, ovens, steam-jacketed
kettles, and pressure cookers. All, of course, are capable
of causing severe and painful burns and scalds. Caution
must be used around these heat sources.
Prevention of kitchen hazards
When using pressure and steam, you must be doubly cautious. Youre
exposed to not only heat but also escaping steam and the possibility of
explosion from built up pressure. Injuries may even involve internal damage
inhaling live steam for example. When operating pressure cookers or
steam-jacketed equipment, follow the manufacturers instructions.
When carrying hot liquids, be alert for slips and falls, and warn others of
your approach. It may prevent a lot of pain.
Some doors swing one direction, while others swing both ways. In either
case, the door should be approached with caution.
An ever-present problem in kitchens is broken glass and the sharp edges of
opened tin cans. Never attempt to pick up broken glass with your bare hands
always sweep it up and use a dustpan or clean up slivers with a wet paper
towel.
Observe rules established in kitchens, especially
those applying to rush period traffic patterns. It
makes good sense. Play it safethats "food for
thought"!