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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Is your workplace kitchen deadly?

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, November 01, 2010

Health and safety in a workplace kitchen is just as important as the rest of the workplace, but this area is often overlooked because we all know how to be safe in a kitchen – don’t we and it's just housekeeping?

Kitchen safety is essential if you don't want to have accidents or a fire. Have you trained every employee in fire prevention?  What about first aid training and don’t forget the first aid refresher courses at least every two years.  Do you have appropriate fire extinguishers and a fire blanket?

Why you need to remember the obvious
Have you ever seen someone with burns from a kitchen fire? How many times have you accidentally scalded yourself and what about those sharp knives, broken glass or plates that someone has left lying around?

In a kitchen you have your safety to take care of and your co-workers as well. Prevention is always better than any cure. A kitchen is a dangerous place to begin with, but you can make it safer by following a few simple rules.

Prevention is the key in any kitchen whether small or big, professional or home. In a working environment a mitten or kitchen towel left on the stove will catch fire just as easily as in a home.

Quick tips

  • When carrying knives always keep the point down to the ground never in front of you
  • When moving hot foods in pots and pans tray always tell people. Yes you can shout hot, hot, hot
  • If you smell gas always check the stove
  • If oil or soap liquid spills on the floor it can cause a nasty slip, trip or fall accident. Clean it up with hot water immediately
  • Always keep floors clear and dry at all times
  • Don't throw broken glass in the rubbish without wrapping it up
  • Never plug or unplug electrical cords with wet hands
  • Do not take a hot glass dish from the oven and put on a wet surface or in cold water.
  • Never overload your electrical circuits
  • Always check equipment before leaving at nights. Make sure the stove, the grill and whatever else is there is turned off.
  • Test and tag your equipment regularly or at least do a visual inspection. 
  • Make sure you document the evidence that you have looked for kitchen hazards and put in place appropriate risk controls
  • Make sure you include kitchen safety in your regular safety meetings.

Remember the workplace is your daily bread and you need it tomorrow.

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