Slips and trips continue to be the most common cause of injury in European workplaces. It takes all members of staff to create a safe working environment for everyone. We’ll cover the steps your kitchen should already be taking and what more you can do to prevent spills and accidents.
What Should Already be Happening in Your Kitchen
It’s worth reminding ourselves of some of the basics when it comes to kitchen health and safety. We all know the right practices, but it can be easy to forget procedures or skip them altogether during a busy service.
You should already have carried out a risk assessment in your kitchen to determine the hazards that staff face. If you haven’t, you need to complete one as soon as possible and they should be regularly updated. So, even if you do have one in place, revisit it and add any important new information.
A risk assessment helps to protect staff members from hazards like spills, creating a safe environment for them to work. It should answer the following key questions:
- What are the hazards?
- Who might be harmed and how?
- What are you already doing?
- What further action is necessary?
Once you’ve determined which hazards your staff need to be aware of, you can put procedures in place to minimise risk...
Your kitchen should already be following these, but some of the steps you can take to prevent spills from becoming an issue are:
- Keep work areas tidy and store goods correctly.
- Ensure equipment is maintained to prevent leaks onto the floor.
- Turn off taps and fix leaks quickly, using drip trays if necessary.
- Any persistent leaks need to reported to you as soon as possible and dealt with immediately.
- Staff clean up spills as soon as they appear - don’t walk by. Keeping the kitchen clean is everyone’s responsibility.
- Effective lighting in all areas, including cold storage, prevents spills from being missed.
- When floors are being cleaned, ensure staff do it at quieter times and use warning signs.
- Hot oil can be especially hazardous so make sure staff follow instructions to carry oil safely.
Keeping Your Staff Safe
It’s your responsibility to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment. Creating a risk assessment isn’t enough when it comes to preventing accidents. You need to be proactive.
The Right Shoes
Slips, trips and falls can all be reduced in your kitchen by supplying staff with the right footwear. Depending on their job role, you can provide chefs, kitchen staff and waiters/waitresses with specialist non slip footwear to keep them safe and comfortable while they work.
When looking for footwear for staff, look for shoes that have been designed with slip-resistant outsoles, preventing the wearer from falling even if the floor is wet. Some designs have TripGuard that can stop falls when moving between different floor surfaces.
The Right Training
Your staff should receive regular safety training so that they’re fully aware of the hazards in the kitchen and what they can do to minimise risk. They might find this boring and unnecessary, but it shows them that you care about their health and wellbeing.
The team should take pride in the kitchen and even though it isn’t seen by customers, it should be just as important as front of house. Don’t leave cleaning to the same people and encourage the whole team to help.
Training is just one step towards a culture of care and safety in your kitchen. Staff should want to keep the kitchen safe, clean and tidy, rather than have to be told to do it. They’ll need the right equipment and clothing to be able to improve health and safety.
The Right Tools
To keep the kitchen safe, your staff need the right tools and equipment.
Knowing the equipment best suited to a particular cleaning task is important and staff should have the right tools on hand.
From disinfectants to the right kind of scrubbing pads, make sure staff have all the equipment they need to leave the kitchen looking spotless.
It’s also important to think about the floor in areas of the kitchen, including fridges and outdoor areas. Spots that are more likely to be wet could benefit from safety mats to prevent the floor from becoming too slippery.
Different floor surfaces are more at risk of becoming dangerous. Determine the kinds of floor surfaces you have in your kitchen and take the necessary steps as outlined in the Health and Safety Executive’s helpful table.
Choosing the Perfect Safety Shoes for Kitchen Staff
Shoes are a great place to start when it comes to improving health and safety in your kitchen. Find the perfect shoes for chefs, kitchen staff, waiters and managers in our downloadable catalogue. It’s packed with useful information that can help you to make the right choice. Download our free catalogue now using the link below.