PPE and prevention of occupational hazards in a restaurant kitchen

PPE and prevention of occupational hazards in a restaurant kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of every restaurant and, like this one, they have certain security risks. For this reason, PPE and prevention measures are essential today.

A risky kitchen

The frenetic activity that often takes place in these work environments is an additional factor of danger. The possibilities of suffering an accident are diverse, although a correct job safety analysis (JSA) is the best formula to avoid them.

This approach means permanently training professionals in safety guidelines and, of course, equipping them with the necessary equipment, elements and policies for action.

Cooks are exposed to potentially dangerous thermal contacts, floors with spills that can cause slipping, the use of knives, cutting machines and other similar tools, electric socks, contacting with irritant substances, possible fires and musculoskeletal injuries, among other situations risky.

Towards total security from prevention

Personal protective equipment is essential to avoid these potential dangers and, when they occur, PPEs greatly mitigate their effects.

These are the PPE that should not be missing in today’s professional kitchens:

• Special footwear for restauration sector. It must be comfortable and flexible; due to the many hours workers spend standing, with a non-metallic toe to have the best protection against possible falling objects but with maximum lightness. They must also provide resistance to penetration and water absorption, maximum cushioning and adherence, with excellent non-slip soles.

• Safety mittens: They are essential to prevent burns when interacting with fires, thermal electrical appliances and stoves.

• Easy to wear garments. They must provide freedom of movement and must cover the arms and legs. It is essential not to wear loose clothing, as it can get caught by the elements of the environment, such as pans.

• Specific gloves for different activities. Thus, it is necessary to use them of chainmail when filleting meats and sausages, in order to avoid cuts. And, on the other hand, models for scrubbing are needed to isolate against the toxic agents of dishwashers and avoid possible cuts when handling the pots.

• Aprons and aprons made of resistant fabric, close to the body and with good support. They are usually much more practical, and also safe, those that include pockets and compartments to store different tools of daily use.

• Chef hats and hairnets. It is, rather, a hygiene measure to avoid contaminating the dishes than self-protection.

There are other elements that increase the level of safety in a kitchen, such as the presence of an updated medicine cabinet and fire extinguisher, cleanliness and order, as well as the care and constant supervision of tools, machines and electrical connections. In short, safety in kitchens is achieved from head to toe. Having specialized technical footwear is the essential basis, from which the rest of the PPE and the ideal measures must be completed.