Whilst hot water, sharp knives and other safety risks are inherent in kitchen and catering work, kitchen and catering accidents are preventable with appropriate foresight and preparation. At Graham Coffey & Co, our specialist injury solicitors handle kitchen and catering accident claims in Manchester and throughout the area. We are dedicated to pursuing compensation for people injured in accidents at work and helping them recover from their injuries.
Employers are responsible for providing safe work environments and proper training and maintenance. All kitchen areas should be subject to detailed risk assessments, and employers should ensure that employees working in each area are not only trained to do their specific job, but also to recognise the dangers their job might pose to others in the kitchen.
Some of the most common causes of catering and kitchen injuries include:
- Burns and scalds: The frequent use of boiling water, carrying hot drinks or foods and working in close proximity to hobs and grills put kitchen staff at risk for burns and scalds. Often, untrained staff and temporary employees are the victims of these injuries. And, the employer's failure to provide protective equipment, such as gloves, is often to blame.
- Slips and falls: Spills and greasy surfaces in commercial kitchen settings are not uncommon. It is the employer's duty to ensure that kitchens are properly cleaned, even during cooking hours. Additionally, defective and leaking refrigeration units and other poorly maintained kitchen equipment are also common causes of slips and falls.
- Lacerations/cutting injuries: Working with knives, blenders and other sharp tools and equipment put kitchen staff at risk for lacerations. Unfortunately, employers regularly fail to provide proper training, and when employees are under pressure to work quickly, cutting injuries are common.
Employers must ensure that all kitchen staff are properly trained and that the work area is checked for hazards and safety issues. This is especially important when employees may be working in an unfamiliar kitchen when catering an event. Employers should also avoid having staff multitask by ensuring there is an adequate number of catering and waiting staff available.
Kitchen accidents also occur in non-commercial kitchens, such as office kitchens and break rooms in factories. Electrical equipment, knives, spills and hot water all present dangers for employees in these facilities.