Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers
Seasonal fluctuations in business are a feature of the restaurant and hotel industry and peak times such as Christmas and the New Year can be times when the potential for accidents in a busy kitchen can increase.
Spillages are the main cause of accidents in busy kitchens according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the risk can be minimised if the kitchen cleaning regime is properly managed.
The key to protecting staff when they are under increased pressure is being prepared and kitchen managers should consider reviewing their risk assessments, their stocks of appropriate cleaning materials and training of their cleaning staff. This is especially important for floors to ensure that the cleaning does not cause more problems than it solves.
If additional casual staff have been taken on to help cope with the expected rush it is particularly important to ensure that they are given proper training in the health and safety, cleaning and food hygiene arrangements that the kitchen follows.
If the floor surface is safe, not cracked or chipped and made of appropriate materials and that staff have been provided with non-slip footwear, spillages need to be cleaned immediately and floors regularly cleaned at a time when they are least used and with materials that will remove any grease deposits and dry quickly because most accidents and falls take place when the floor is wet or greasy.
There are innumerable horrific case studies of accidents in kitchens on the HSE website, some of them resulting in injuries to staff that have prevented them from continuing in their jobs and cost their employers large amounts in compensation.
Preparation for a busy period may include deep cleaning the kitchen beforehand. Contract kitchen deep cleaning companies can be brought in to do an assessment of the state of the kitchen, minor repairs that may be needed and to schedule the work at a convenient time.
If kitchen deep cleaning is not required before the busy period it almost certainly will be after the seasonal rush is over. There will have been more steam created thanks to the extra volume of cooking, possibly containing dissolved grease and while the daily kitchen cleaning may be effective to keep things running smoothly, hygienically and safely it is likely that there will have been more deposits left in hard to reach places than would be normal and getting in a deep cleaning service when the volume of business has diminished will set the kitchen up for the next busy season with minimal disruption to the work.
A kitchen deep clean will help protect staff from the increased risk of accidents when the peak of the festive seasonal rush becomes frantic. By Ali Withers. http://www.pro-ductclean.com/ kitchen-deep-cleaning.asp
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