Kitchen Staff

Reduce young employee injury risks with these kitchen safety tips

As a restaurant owner in the U.S., it’s important that you regularly maintain workplace safety. An injured worker not only may result in income loss, but it may also potentially lead to serious legal problems if complaints are filed against you. If you plan to hire young part-time employees next season, it’s critical that you always keep them safe. Your restaurant’s kitchen is one of the busiest places where injuries are likely to happen, and here are the things you may want to consider to reduce injury risks.

Identify workplace hazards in compliance with OSHA’s food business regulations

Checking your kitchen’s tile flooring in Orange County is probably one of the easiest ways to identify injury risks in your food business. Immediately repair damaged or old tiles that can cause slip and fall injuries. It’s a common knowledge that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require employers to identify all workplace risks that may compromise your employees’ safety. Keep your kitchen appliance clean and properly maintained. Always clean your stoves, ovens, and food processors to prevent dirt and bacteria build-up that can cause illnesses to your staffs.

Aside from keeping your kitchen clean and organized, make sure that all your staffs are acquainted with personal safety, proper work hygiene and on how to properly handle food. Your chefs and other assistants should use warm water and soap in washing hands and utensils. During work hours, your kitchen staffs should strictly follow their scheduled breaks. Kitchen staffs should also wear appropriate clothing in the workplace. While OSHA didn’t totally ban wearing skirts of any kind or skimpy shorts in the kitchen, the agency suggested that loose or short clothing may increase the risk of sustaining burns from splashing hot substances.

Millions of young workers are expected to look for summer jobs

Compared with other developed countries, the U.S. has hired more youths or individuals aged between 16 and 19 years old. Every year, over 4 million youths are expected to look for summer jobs, where a significant number of these young workers may sustain workplace injuries. According to OSHA, some 160,000 working teenagers likely suffer injuries or illnesses while in the workplace.

OSHA restaurant safety for young workers that you need to know

Chef Tasting FoodLike any other workers, the OSHA protects adolescent workers, and safety laws may vary depending on the state where your business is located. OSHA, however, has provided detailed guidelines if you plan to accept teenagers in your restaurant business this coming summer.

Teenagers whose age is 14 or 15 years old are not allowed to work as a cook or baker; however, you may assign them to snack bars, cafeteria serving counters, or soda fountains. While youths with age between 16 and 17 years old are allowed to work for countless hours, youths with age between 14 and 15 are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a week, especially during the school season.

Restaurant owners should maintain workplace safety as enforced by OSHA, especially if they consider hiring youths this coming summer. It’s important that they identify workplace hazards and address them to avoid income loss and troublesome legal complaints.