As a restaurant owner, one of your top priorities is making sure that your employees are safe and well cared for, especially in the kitchen where there are numerous hazards. Tight spaces, knives, flames, and hot cooktops all pose a threat to the wellbeing of your employees if they are not careful or are not given the proper safety equipment to keep them safe. Therefore, here are 4 ways you can keep your kitchen an accident-free zone.

1. Safety Procedures: Once an employee has been hired, it is up to management to see that they are properly trained in all areas of the kitchen to avoid any mishaps that might arise. After all, the kitchen may be stocked with veterans who know the safety protocols like the back of their hand, but all the training in the world will not matter if the rookie is not properly trained as one slip-up could jeopardize even the most experienced cook. Invest time and money in training your employees will not only guarantee a safer kitchen, but a much more productive one as well.

2. Restaurant Equipment Handling: Part of the training of your employees is making sure that they know how to properly use each piece of equipment and tool that you have in your kitchen. Failure to comply by the manufacturer’s instructions could lead to nasty injuries and a potential lawsuit on your hands. Therefore, even if an employee states that they know how to use a piece of equipment, show them how to use it anyways, even if it might be common sense on how to operate it. Follow general safety guidelines as well and keep electrical appliances away from water sources, and frequently have your equipment inspected by a professional to have them either repaired or replaced before an accident occurs.

3. Fire Safety: Besides the operating of sharp tools, the most common hazard in the kitchen is the risk of a fire. Although you can’t completely prevent fires from happening in a kitchen environment, you can make sure that your employees know the correct steps to take in the event of one. For instance, install fire extinguishers (not just in the kitchen) and make sure each employee knows how to handle one, keep flammable objects away from open flames and ensure that your employees are wearing fitted clothing and have their hair tied up, know how to put out a grease fire, have an evacuation plan, and know where the power source is to shut off any gas that may escalate the situation.

4. Safety Equipment: It’s not enough to just equip your employees with the knowledge of what to do to keep safe, you also need to give them the physical items that will ensure that they don’t have any accidents. Items such as safety glasses and dishwashing gloves are very inexpensive and can go a long way. Should an accident occur, a well stocked first-aid kit is vital to have in all areas of the restaurant.

While these tips and tricks can be useful in guiding your kitchen team to be the safest that they can be, accidents still occur from time to time. But be rest assured that when they do happen, your team will be well-equipped to deal with them and get back to being an organized and functional kitchen.

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