Employers in any field have a duty to provide their employees with a safe workplace. When you work in a busy restaurant kitchen, you may wonder if your boss got that message. Kitchens can be fast and furious places to work. They are full of flames, scalding liquids and hot pans. There are sharp instruments everywhere, and people are always in a rush.
Employers must control hazards
Kitchens are not the easiest working environments. You cannot remove all the hazards either. Slowing things down would result in cold food and dissatisfied customers. Unless you only serve salads, heat is part of the territory. Sharp knives are crucial, regardless of what you produce.
There are many things that your employer can and should do to make your workplace safer. They need to ensure the following are always in place:
- Adequate training: Throwing new employees in at the deep end is not acceptable. It requires proper training to use knives correctly and work in a hot, cramped kitchen safely.
- Proper clothing: Spillages are frequent in kitchens. Chef wear is designed to protect you from this. Do not forget appropriate shoes either both to aid grip, protect from hot liquids and add comfort.
- Adequate staffing: Running a restaurant without enough people places more pressure on workers. By rushing to cover a missing staff member, they are more likely to have an accident.
- Controls on staff: If a colleague turns up still drunk from the night before, they will be a danger to themselves and others.
- Regular cleaning: Spills will happen. When they do, they must be cleared up and dried quickly to avoid slip and fall accidents.
There is one final thing employers should provide to protect their staff: workers’ compensation insurance. Accidents will happen. This insurance is supposed to cover you when they do. If you are having difficulty getting the workers’ comp benefits you need and are entitled to, it may be wise to seek legal guidance.