Whether you work in a commercial kitchen or you prepare daily meals at home, kitchen burn accidents are a common hazard. Work-related burns are one of the leading causes of occupational injuries in the restaurant industry. Although restaurants are generally safer than many other types of workplaces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that work-related burns are disproportionately high among restaurant workers.
Kitchen Burn Risk Factors
Scald burns are a common form of burn associated with kitchen accidents; a scald occurs when the skin contacts hot liquid or steam. Many serious scalding burns happen when a person slips and grabs at something to steady themselves or slips while carrying hot liquids. Grabbing above you in a moment of panic or slipping while holding containers can both lead to containers splashing hot liquid. Scalds from hot water and oil are both common but scalds from hot oil generally create a more severe injury. The reason for this is that oil heats to higher temperatures than water and it is also thicker so it can remain on the skin for a longer period of time.
Other common kitchen burn risks include:
- Removing or cleaning oil from deep fryers
- Contact with steam, oil, or grease
- Cooking or serving boiling soups, desserts, or beverages
- Cooking with hot stovetops, grills, or ovens
- Access to exposed or improperly maintained wiring and equipment
- Rushed or tired employees carrying hot food/beverages
- Managers failing to enforce safety rules or not following safety rules themselves
- Congested quarters
Work Kitchen Burn Prevention Tips
The Burn Foundation recommends these safety tips to protect yourself from burns at work:
- Always wear protective gloves or mitts when touching hot pots, cooking with large amounts of oil, or pulling items out of the oven.
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles to help prevent slipping on wet or greasy tile floors.
- Extinguish hot oil/grease fires by placing a lid over the top of the container.
- Never carry or move containers with boiling liquid.
- Do not reach across hot surfaces; use barriers, guards or enclosures to prevent contact with hot surfaces.
- Always follow directions for proper use of electrical appliances.
- Keep a first-aid kit in the kitchen and ensure that a person with first-aid training is working on each shift.
- Keep fire extinguishers accessible and up to date.
- Plan traffic patterns so that wait staff are not stepping around cooks, and dishwashers or on top of each other.
Home Kitchen Burn Prevention Tips
The following safety tips are recommended to help prevent a burn accident at home:
- Keep curtains and dish/hand towels well away from burners.
- Choose an oven with controls on the front or side so that you don’t have to reach over burners.
- Turn pan handles away from other burners and away from the edge of the stove while cooking.
- Do not wear loose, long sleeved shirts while cooking over a stovetop.
- Do not store cooking utensils above the range, so that you don’t have to reach over the stop top to access them.
- Keep hot pads, oven mitts, and pan holders near the stove/oven and always use them when handling pots, pans, and bake ware.
- Use a safety hook to help slide the baking rack to more easily retrieve hot foods.
- Only operate the microwave when there is food inside.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove but make sure that you know how to use it and that it is properly charged.
- Smoke alarms should be in every room in your home and in working order. Don’t forget to replace the batteries annually!
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!Read More
Kitchen fires kill about 480 Americans in kitchen accidents every year. These fires also injure almost 5,000 people and cause $724 million in property damage. The reality is that we all need to eat and most of us use our kitchens to prepare meals and snacks multiple times per day. Fires are only one part of the danger; over 100,000 people rush to an emergency room from a scalding accident, by far the most common kitchen related injury. Other accidents involve sickness from bacteria living on kitchen surfaces including counter tops, the sink and cutting boards. Shockingly, the average cutting board has 200% more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. It takes only ten bacteria to make a person sick and the average kitchen sponge or cloth carries 134,630 bacteria! Your kitchen faucet alone houses more than 13,227 bacteria. Often, children are victims of kitchen related accidents as they do not understand the dangers of sharp knives or boiling water and reach up to grab something interesting off the counter. The bottom line is that the kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in your house.
Kitchen Hazards Include
- Leaving the stove on
- Defective appliances
- Wet or otherwise slippery floors
- Hot oil
- Electrical outlets
- Sharp knives/graters
- Fires/smoke inhalation
- Toxic fumes/chemicals
There are kitchen accidents that are truly the fault of the victim due to carelessness but there are situations where a third party caused the accident and should be held liable. An electrical shock, smoke or chemical fume inhalation, a serious cut or burn can all be deemed damage worthy personal injury, depending on the circumstance. Whether you were on the job or simply cooking for your family, a personal injury attorney can wade through the particulars of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Kitchen Safety Tips
- Store knives in a knife block
- Never leave a knife unattended near the edge of a counter
- Don’t cut with dull knives
- Always watch where you are cutting
- Always cut away from you
- Don’t rush
- Keep a first aid kit close by
- Keep sharp and breakable items safely away from children
- Close cabinets and drawers after you retrieve your item
- Don’t overstuff cabinets
- Install child safety locks on cabinets
- Keep plastic bags out of reach of children
- Keep children out of the kitchen when using the stove or oven
- Turn frying pan handles toward the inside of the stove
- Use a burner that is the same size or smaller than the pot or pan
- Clean oven regularly to avoid fires
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy
- Monitor oil closely and don’t use too much
- Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and pull back long hair
- Replace appliances with frazzled cords
- Don’t yank cords out of the socket
- Wash utensils, cookware and containers with warm, soapy water
- Don’t keep leftovers for too long
- Don’t keep freezer food for too long
- Don’t leave food on the counter, cooked or raw
- Clean up spills right away
- Clean your sink with soap regularly
- Wash your kitchen cloths regularly and let them dry out in between uses
- Don’t cross contaminate raw meat utensils and cutting boards with those used for vegetables
Whether you were injured in a kitchen accident as an employee or at home you could be eligible for damages due to employer negligence or a defective product. Contact an accident attorney at Tario & Associates, P.S.. We will assess your situation and fight for the compensation you deserve!Read More