Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers
Kitchen accident case studies shown on the Health and Safety Executive website should be enough to convince anyone of the importance of making sure workplaces are safe environments for their occupants and that there are proper regimes in place for making sure they are kept that way.
However, particularly in the kitchens used in large-scale catering, horrific accidents like the following two continue to happen:
A chef in a hotel kitchen accidentally plunged his arm, into hot oil as he reached out to steady himself when his foot slipped from under him as he was walking past a deep fat fryer carrying a box. His arm and hand deep burns and oil splashes also burned his face. He was off work for five months recovering after undergoing surgery and following an HSE investigation his employer pleaded guilty to failing to put in a safe system of work and was fined £14,000 plus costs of £2,000.
In another incident a catering assistant,was emptying hot oil from a deep fat fryer into a plastic bucket when she slipped after the bucket melted spilling hot oil onto the floor and onto her feet. She suffered burns to her back and her employer was fined as well as having to pat costs, which together added up to £25,500.
If either of these incidents had happened after October 1 2012 the employers involved would also have been facing a bill for the HSE investigation, report and subsequent action at a rate of £124 per hour.
The first example illustrates the importance of a safe, slip-free floor surface in commercial kitchens, where the cooking process releases a lot of steam, often containing dissolved grease or oil. Although an efficient and well-maintained canopy and extraction system can help to keep the air relatively clean and dry, along with the kitchen's regular daily cleaning regime, over time there are still likely to be some deposit build-ups on surfaces.
This emphasises the importance of regular professional deep cleaning with the correct cleaning agents to maintain the kitchen in the safest and best possible conditions.
Ensuring that the business uses properly documented deep cleaning services will provide evidence of the employer's attention to health and safety matters in the unfortunate even that there is an accident, but will also help to reduce the likelihood of it occurring.
Regular kitchen deep cleaning done by an experienced company with the right equipment is an investment that can be managed at intervals to keep the business cash flow under control but at the same time may prove to be an investment that keeps unexpected and unwelcome costs at bay.
Regular kitchen deep cleaning will prevent accidents from grease build-up on commercial kitchen floors and other surfaces. By Ali Withers. http://www.pro-ductclean.com/ kitchen-deep-cleaning.asp
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