The kitchen is a place rife with accident opportunities that can happen to even the most experienced chefs. Workers in the food preparation industry should be aware of common kitchen injuries and take care to prevent workplace accidents that can cause serious injury.
Most people have cut themselves by accident in the kitchen. Knives can slip if the user’s hands are not completely dry, but cutting boards can also slip and the sudden movement can lead to injury. Putting a damp towel or piece of non-slip material under the cutting board will reduce the risk of the board moving. Bagels are the source of another common cutting injury. They are difficult to slice open and this should be attempted only on a table with the bagel lying flat down. Never cut a bagel open in the air without using a cutting surface. The sharp edges of opened canned goods are also a risk to kitchen workers and should be disposed of carefully. Can openers with magnetic lid holders are helpful in avoiding injuries.
Burns are another common kitchen injury that can have many sources. Escaping steam, hot cooking oil, open flames, and hot serving ware can all cause burns. Workers should take care using commercial ovens as the hot surface areas are very large and can cause serious burns. Oil from chili peppers is an overlooked dangerous source as it can burn skin and anything else in contact. When cutting hot peppers, gloves should always be worn to avoid transferring the oils to sensitive areas, such as the eyes.
Slip and falls can easily happen in the kitchen, so spills should be taken care of immediately. Ironically, freshly cleaned floors can also be a cause of workplace injury as they are sometimes slippery. Any wet surfaces should be marked appropriately so that all staff are aware of the slip and fall hazard. Ideally employers should use non-slip surfaces in kitchen areas that are often exposed to wet conditions, such as dishwashing areas.
Falls from heights are also a risk. To access higher cabinets and storage, always use a step ladder or other stable surface. Falling objects from high refrigerators or cupboard storage can cause struck-by accidents when workers open doors to retrieve items. Pantries and refrigerators should be stocked carefully to avoid heavy jars and cans from falling out.
Proper food hygiene must be followed to avoid contamination problems which can affect both customers and workers. Most workplaces have various chemical agents for cleaning and sterilization and these must be stored securely to avoid misuse and unintended injury.
Kitchen fires are a common source of injury, but can be prevented by monitoring hot oils and fats, and keeping flammables away from fire sources. Pot handles should be turned inward to avoid accidents at the cooking range that turn into fires.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman and Hamilton Fight for Injured Workers
If you have been injured on the job, call the dedicated Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman and Hamilton. For more than 30 years we have been helping workers recover compensation for their injuries. An initial consultation is free of charge so call 844-556-4LAW (4529) today or contact us online. We proudly serve clients in the greater Baltimore area and all across the state of Maryland.