Restaurants usually limit access to the back of the house. The kitchen, freezers and storage rooms likely contain a lot of potentially-harmful hazards. Only authorized staff should enter these areas. However, they will face risks of harm, too, even in seemingly-normal situations. What are some of these? How can you protect your employees?
By reducing employee risks in your kitchen, you can lower your liability risks. That might help you avoid workers’ compensation claims, injury lawsuits and other challenges.
Common Kitchen Risks: How to Isolate and Avoid Them
Cooking in a restaurant kitchen is a harmful task if you don’t manage it properly. Employees have access to this area, and all of them could sustain harm in the wrong situations. Think of just a few of the problems that might arise:
- Burn risks are among the most-common in any restaurant. Chefs use cooking surfaces (and open flames) every day. Wait staff routinely handle hot items. Injuries might even result if someone neglects to mark hot surfaces. To avoid these risks, make sure all employees know where burn risks might beckon. This might include: around stoves and ovens, at the serving window, under warming lamps, near hot grease and more.'
- Slip-and-fall risks: Spills might occur frequently in the kitchen. When they do, they pose fall (and injury) risks to those who enter the area unknowingly. If a spill occurs, isolate it and start cleanup immediately. As necessary, place a wet floor sign on the spot.
- Slash and cut risks: Those who use knives or other utensils often face the risk of cutting themselves. Only allow trained employees to handle blades. Store and position these items in safe place where they can’t protrude and cut someone.
- Allergen exposure: Some employees will have food or environmental allergies. If they do, you should not place them in positions where they might come into contact with certain items. Carefully review a their qualifications and needs to determine if they can work with food directly.
Should an employee sustain an injury on the job, they might qualify for workers’ compensation. Coverage can help you cover employees' medical bills, lost income and other financial needs. Therefore, they likely won’t have to file a lawsuit against the operation. They can still receive the necessary funds with a payout from the insurer.
Still, the better you enforce safety rules, the lower your chances of facing a workers’ compensation claim. Your risk profiles might become more secure. That could put you in a better position to maintain your workers’ comp premiums over time.
Also Read: Protecting the Costly Liquor in Your Restaurant