3 Potential Dangers To Look Out for When Working in a Restaurant Kitchen

Sharing is caring!

From construction workers to firefighters to electricians, plenty of jobs come with inherent risks for injury. Unfortunately, restaurant kitchens’ often chaotic and high-stress environment also presents several challenges and potential dangers to employees. With hazards such as sharp objects, wet floors, hot food, open flame cooking equipment, and the fast-paced workflow, kitchens can often be a perfect storm for injuries. As a result, both restaurant industry veterans and the inexperienced alike are subject to workplace injury each year. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employees experience nearly 100,000 injuries in full-service restaurants per year. These injuries include severe burns, cuts, broken or fractured bones, and others. Often an accident that leads to injury requires a visit to the emergency room or urgent care. In addition, these injuries result in lost productivity, higher workers’ compensation rates, and often out-of-pocket medical expenses for the restaurants. For restaurant employees, an injury usually means lost wages and extended recovery periods. Given these risks, employees and owners of commercial kitchens alike must work together to try and ensure occupational safety. 

In the event of an accident, you need to know what to do if you injure yourself in your restaurant’s kitchen. First, you’ll want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Also, it would be good to document the accident and injury thoroughly for informational purposes, insurance policy requirements, and potential workers’ compensation filing. You’ll also need to alert the restaurant owner or manager immediately. Of course, the best way to take care of injuries in a commercial kitchen is to prevent them. Risk control can go a long way towards stopping accidents before they happen. Let’s take a look at potential dangers to look out for when working in a restaurant kitchen.

1. Burns


Burns are common injuries that restaurant workers face in the kitchens. As a result of the equipment with burners and open flames, hot liquids and oils, and hot foods, the fast-paced commercial kitchen is an easy place to get burned. Long-sleeved chef jackets are the recommended industry standard to prevent burns from rubbing up against a hot surface. Additionally, cooks in high-splatter areas need to wear bib aprons to protect them from oil or hot liquid splashes. Restaurants and kitchen staff can work together to ensure that cooks have safe work habits and that hot pads, side towels, and heatproof gloves are available for handling hot pans. An ounce of prevention can go a long way towards preventing burns in the kitchen.

2. Slips and Falls


The risk for slips and falls is present in many businesses. However, the risk of slipping and falling can be prevalent in restaurants. Cooks and waitstaff are exposed to higher risks because of spills, wet floors, or moving quickly around blind corners in a busy kitchen. Slips and falls can lead to painful injuries such as sprains, fractures, or broken bones. Creating a clutter-free kitchen and ensuring that floors are clean and dry is critical to reducing risks. Additionally, proper grease trap maintenance is essential for keeping floors clean from fats and grease. Aside from the risk of a restaurant fire, a grease trap that isn’t maintained can back up onto the floor, creating a slippery mess. 

3. Cuts and Lacerations


Sharp knives and utensils and the potential for broken glass can lead to cuts and lacerations for restaurant employees. Other dangers like commercial meat slicers have a high risk of injury to fingers and hands as well. Kitchens must have sharpened knives and blades to operate efficiently. As a result, restaurant staffs need to be extremely careful and take precautions when dealing with these items. In addition, all staff members need to be trained on proper handling and storing of sharp elements.Restaurants are one of the most common workplaces, employing over 15 million people in the United States. With such a large workforce, the risk of injury is high. Therefore, staff members must be adequately trained to avoid burns, falls, cuts, and other dangers, for safe restaurant operations.

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind