Health And Safety In The Kitchen
A working kitchen can often be home to multiple hazards. With waiting staff dashing backwards and forwards with plates ladened with tasty food and chefs working together to get food out on time, there are plenty of accidents waiting to happen! From slips and trips to cuts, burns, manual handling injuries and falls – there are plenty of things that can go wrong during service.
As an employer, you’re responsible for the health and wellbeing of your workers. So, it’s important that health and safety is taken seriously, whether you’re a small business or a large kitchen. Here’s how:
1. Provide the appropriate clothing
Supplying appropriate workwear is essential for eliminating the risk of injury as well as upholding food hygiene standards. As a kitchen is a fast-paced environment, providing the correct non-slip shoes goes a long way in preventing slips in the kitchen.
2. Deliver adequate training
Like every job, training is hugely important. Although it may seem obvious, having employees who lack skills or the knowledge of how to work safely can be a hindrance in a kitchen.
With one in four UK workers planning a job change, you may find your staff turnover is higher than usual. If so, you’ll probably have several new starters. As part of new starter training, you should always provide robust guidance that covers everything you need to know in a kitchen. This should contain information on knife handling and proper usage of equipment.
It’s also important to include training information about food handling and hygiene (including regular hand washing!) to avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning.
3. Ensure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit
Even with thorough training and the right clothing, accidents can and do happen. That’s why it’s important to keep a fully stocked first-aid kit handy. As well as the usual components such as plasters and bandages, in a kitchen, you should also have burn kits and hydrogel dressings readily available.
4. Make sure you communicate
Without proper communication, a commercial kitchen can easily become chaotic and unstructured. In a high-pressure environment like a kitchen, a lack of communication can be disastrous.
With so many different elements moving about with the presence of sharp objects and burn hazards, it’s important that you teach your teams to communicate effectively to avoid accidents.
If you’re one of the 123,395 restaurants in the UK, you need to be taking health and safety seriously. Although this can seem like a daunting task, the good news is that it’s relatively straightforward to keep everyone safe. By providing proper clothing, training and first aid and working on communication, you’ll have a safe, slick kitchen in no time at all.