Restaurant kitchen fire hazards…
Taking steps to prevent accidents and keep employees safe is extremely important in the day-to-day running of a restaurant kitchen. For health and safety officers, working in an environment as fast-paced and demanding as this can prove to be a real challenge. In a typical kitchen shift you may find yourself faced with spillages and leaks, electrical faults, food contamination and more. Staying on top of these risks, however, can be easier said than done
There are so many potential hazards, and you’ll have to be on your guard to make sure all your colleagues are safe. Today we’ll talk briefly about one of the most dangerous risks that can lead to potentially huge losses in revenue and even permanent closure – kitchen fires.
Fire safety – Fire Hazards….
Restaurant kitchens have all the right ingredients to enable fires to ignite and grow. Around the workplace you’ll find open flames, hot equipment, industrial cooking oils and flammable cleaning chemicals. Staff members need to make sure they take care when going about their daily business.
If your kitchen has dirty extraction ducts and cooker hoods covered in grease and grime, your risk of fire increases due to poor ventilation. Similarly, fat and grease left on cooking utensils after use can also be hazardous. Look around your kitchen just now. Are there any frayed electrical cords or faulty equipment? These could also easily spark and cause an electrical fire.
It might be necessary to cook with open flames, but these can also cause a fire risk. If staff uniforms are loose or they have long uncovered hair, they can easily set alight if they come in contact with the heat. It’s also a good idea to store all flammable materials away from open flames and other sources of heat around the kitchen.
How to reduce the risk of fire
Although fire hazards are one of the most dangerous health and safety risks, there are steps you can take to begin making your kitchen a safer working environment:
- Keep a portable fire extinguisher handy – and train staff how to use this
- Clean up grease – from the vents, walls, oven and surfaces
- Store flammable liquids properly – in tightly sealed containers
- Tidy away – any paper, linens or cardboard
- Use brightly coloured materials – to draw employees’ attention to potential hazards
- Create visual cues around the kitchen – that highlights any danger
Your could also design a comprehensive training manual for staff, and advise them of what the health and safety best practices are. One way to help increase the ‘stickyness’ of your training is to include visual imagery. Although lengthy training sessions and coaching are important, you also want a method that will actually resonate with your employees long after they leave the workplace.
Health and safety cartoons
One visual medium you should consider is cartoons. These work tremendously well, especially if they convey the information in a humorous way. I have designed a cartoon that highlights the many common restaurant healthy and safety risks, which is also light hearted and fun. You can find out more details about this cartoon here. I also offer a bespoke service, so if you have something else in mind or would like custom work done please contact me here and we can discuss.