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Hazard Recognition and Injury Prevention in Food Service Workers

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Hazard Recognition and Injury Prevention in Food Service Workers. Injury Statistics. Bureau of Labor statistics indicate that the incidence of non-fatal occupational injuries throughout foodservice dropped to an all-time low of 5.2 per 100 full-time equivalent employees in 2006.

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injury statistics
Injury Statistics
  • Bureau of Labor statistics indicate that the incidence of non-fatal occupational injuries throughout foodservice dropped to an all-time low of 5.2 per 100 full-time equivalent employees in 2006.
  • That is in contrast to a rate of 5.5 per 100 the previous year
common injuries
Common Injuries
  • Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations
  • Electrical Shock and Electrocution
  • Slips and Falls
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMI)
  • Back Pain and Injuries
  • Burns
this overview will
This overview will:
  • Identify the most common injuries in restaurants and kitchens
  • Identify the hazards most likely to cause injuries
  • Provide ideas for reducing the hazards and preventing injuries
lacerations punctures and amputations
Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations

Result primarily from:

  • Peeling, Dicing, Mincing, or Slicing with:
    • Non powered cutting tools – mostly knives
    • Food slicers
    • Meat grinders
    • Mixers, blender, and whippers
  • A smaller number resulted from broken dishes, cups, and glasses.
preventing lacerations punctures and amputations
Preventing Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations

Blade safety tips:

  • Cut AWAY from, not toward, your body
  • Use a stabilizing tool and not your fingers to steady the food
  • Use a cutting board. Never hold items in your hands while cutting or slicing
  • Use the correct knife for the job.
preventing lacerations punctures and amputations7
Preventing Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations

Blade safety tips:

  • Wear appropriate gloves for your job
    • Use cut resistant gloves for high production jobs. However, remember they are cut resistant, not cut proof- injuries can still occur.
  • Make sure gloves fit properly
  • Keep knives and blades sharp
    • Dull blades slip
    • Sharp blades improve accuracy and performance
    • Sharp blades decrease strain and fatigue
  • Tighten or replace loose handles
preventing lacerations punctures and amputations8
Preventing Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations
  • Make sure all guards and safety devices are in place on slicers and other machinery such as mixers, blenders, electrical tools and maintenance equipment
  • Use food pushers to advance food in machines
  • Never put your fingers near moving parts or blades
  • Don’t try to cut anything too thin in a slicer. Use a knife.
  • Don’t try to catch falling items, especially knives.
  • Discard broken or chipped dishes

and glassware

preventing lacerations punctures and amputations9
Preventing Lacerations, Punctures and Amputations


  • Equipment that starts up unexpectedly, especially during cleanup or maintenance, can cause many serious injuries
  • To reduce the risk of injury, unplug equipment before doing clean-up, maintenance, or repairs. If the equipment is hardwired, follow the specific lockout procedure for that equipment
lockout tagout
Lockout / Tagout

Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year

lockout tagout11
Lockout / Tagout

The Lockout / Tagout standard is not a suggestion, it’s an OSHA LAW.

However, if this procedure is too time consuming for you to perform……..

perhaps a co worker can lend you a hand
Perhaps a co worker can lend you…. a hand…


  • Ice slows bleeding.
  • Compression over an injury slows bleeding.
  • Elevation above the level of the heart reduces swelling.
  • Splinting decreases bleeding and reduces pain.
treatment of lacerations and amputations
Treatment of Lacerations and Amputations
  • Direct pressure is the most common and effective way to control bleeding.
  • Apply pressure with gloved finger or hand.
  • Elevating a bleeding extremity often stops venous bleeding.
  • Use both direct pressure and elevation whenever possible.
  • Apply a pressure dressing.
treatment of lacerations and amputations15
Treatment of Lacerations and Amputations
  • If bleeding continues, apply pressure on pressure point.
  • Pressure points are located where a blood vessel lies near a bone.
  • Be familiar with the location of pressure points.
treatment of lacerations and amputations17
Treatment of Lacerations and Amputations
  • Splints can help control bleeding associated with a fracture.
  • Air splints can be used to control bleeding of soft-tissue injuries.
  • Fold a triangular bandage into 4˜ cravat.
  • Wrap the bandage.
  • Use a stick as a handle to twist and secure the stick.
  • Write “TK” and time and place on patient.
tourniquet precautions
Tourniquet Precautions
  • Place as close to injury as possible, but not over joint.
  • Never use narrow material.
  • Use wide padding under the tourniquet.
  • Never cover a tourniquet with a bandage.
  • Do not loosen the tourniquet once applied.
treatment of amputations
Treatment of Amputations
  • Immobilize a partial amputation with bulky dressings and a splint.
  • Wrap a complete amputation in a dry sterile dressing and place in a plastic bag.
  • Put the bag in a cool container filled with ice.
  • Transport severed part with patient
if unconsciousness occurs
If Unconsciousness Occurs
  • Continue to control external bleeding .
  • Elevate legs and keep patient warm.
  • Arrange immediate transport to hospital
electrical shock and electrocution23
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

An electric shock occurs when a person

comes into contact with an

electrical energy source.

Electrical energy flows through a portion of

the body causing a shock.

electrical shock and electrocution24
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

An electric shock can cause severe burns to the skin

electrical shock and electrocution25
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

First Degree Flash Burn

electrical shock and electrocution26
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

Second Degree Burn to Hand

electrical shock and electrocution27
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

Third Degree Burn to Hand

electrical shock and electrocution28
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that …

Water and electricity together are very dangerous to humans

electrical hazard avoidance
Electrical Hazard Avoidance

Electrical outlets in the kitchen

should not be too close to the

kitchen sink and the drain board.

Water splashing from the kitchen

sink and drain board may enter

the outlet creating an extreme

hazard for food service personnel

ground fault circuit interrupters gfci s
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s)
  • GFCI contains a special sensor that monitors the strength of the magnetic field around each wire in the circuit when current is flowing.
  • The field is proportional to the amount of current flow.
types of gfci s
Types of GFCI’s
  • Receptacle type:
  • Incorporates within one device one or more receptacle outlets, protected by the GFCI.
  • Popular and inexpensive.
  • Most are of duplex type
  • Can protect additional non-GFCI type receptacles connected “downstream”.
types of gfci s32
Types of GFCI’s
  • Cord Connected type:
  • Attachment plug incorporates the GFCI module.
  • Protects cord & any equipment attached to the cord.
  • Attachment has non-standard appearance
  • Equipped with test and reset buttons.
  • No-voltage release feature
electrical hazard avoidance33
Electrical Hazard Avoidance
  • Avoid the use of damaged extension cords
  • Never run an extension wire under

carpet or mats

electrical hazard avoidance34
Electrical Hazard Avoidance

Many appliances in the kitchen are double

Insulated. However, some appliances

Have a metal body and should be

plugged into a properly grounded outlet

Three Prong Receptacle

1910 405 wiring methods components and equipment for general use
1910.405 Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use.
  • Receptacles shall be of the grounding type
electrical shock and electrocution36
Electrical Shock and Electrocution

An electrical current can be fatal if the

current passes through vital organs of the

body such as the heart!

electrical shock and electrocution emergency care
Electrical Shock and ElectrocutionEmergency Care

If an employee gets shocked….

# 1 Priority – REMOVE THE HAZARD!!!

  • Trip breakers
  • Unplug cords
  • Pull victim away from electrical source using non conductive means

(wooden broom handles etc.)

electrical shock and electrocution emergency care38
Electrical Shock and ElectrocutionEmergency Care

The primary cause of death in electrocutions are cardiac arrhythmias

Specifically Ventricular Fibrillation (V Fib)

electrical shock and electrocution emergency care39
Electrical Shock and ElectrocutionEmergency Care

Time is of the essence

  • Have someone call 911
  • Direct someone to get an AED
  • Remove shock hazard
  • Open airway, check for breathing
  • If no breathing, 2 rescue breaths
  • Check pulse, if no pulse, begin CPR
  • Attach AED as soon as it arrives, shock as indicated
slips and falls41
Slips and Falls

A common cause of injuries in the food service industry are slips, trips and falls.

Slip and Fall prevention is an EXTREMELY high priority for OSHA.

slips and falls42
Slips and Falls

In some segments of industry, slips and falls rank as the most frequent workplace injury

They also account for the highest incidence of serious injuries and fatalities…..

slips and falls44
Slips and Falls

Most fall accidents are generally due to poor housekeeping practices in the workplace such as water or oil spills on the floor.

Materials placed untidily or using passageways for storage can also cause slips, trips or falls.

injuries associated with slips and falls
Injuries Associated with Slips and Falls
  • Bruises (contusions)
  • Lacerations
  • Avulsions
  • Strains and Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Closed and Open Head Injuries
  • Death
treatment of fractures and dislocations
Treatment of Fractures and Dislocations

Signs and Symptoms

  • Deformity
  • Tenderness
  • Guarding
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
general splinting rules
General Splinting Rules
  • Remove clothing from the area.
  • Note and record the patient’s neurovascular status.
  • Cover all wounds with a dry, sterile dressing.
  • Do not move the patient before splinting
general splinting rules48
General Splinting Rules
  • Immobilize the joints above and below the injured joint.
  • Pad all rigid splints.
  • Maintain manual immobilization.
  • Use constant, gentle, manual traction if needed.
  • If you find resistance to limb alignment, splint the limb as is
general splinting rules49
General Splinting Rules
  • Immobilize all suspected spinal injuries in a neutral in-line position.
  • If the patient has signs of shock, align limb in normal anatomic position and transport.
  • When in doubt, splint
preventing slips and falls
Preventing Slips and Falls
  • Use non-slip footwear
  • Keep floors free from water or grease
  • Clean floors regularly
  • Introduce a spill procedure that requires immediate mopping up of all spills followed by a dry mop to ensure the surface is not left wet.
  • Put up warning signs around spills or wet floors
  • Provide drainage to prevent pooling of water and grease..
  • Minimize the need to carry full pots or pans, so there are fewer spills.
  • Avoid walking on slippery floors.
preventing slips and falls51
Preventing Slips and Falls

Make Floors More Slip Resistant

  • Methods to improve slip resistance, such as acid etching, application of adhesive strips and slip-resistant paint. The best method will depend on your existing floor surface.
  • You may decide to replace floor surfaces with a non-slip material.
  • Use floor cleaning products that remove oil and grease.
  • Agree on written standards with contract cleaners to ensure that polishes/cleaning agents leave the floor in a non-slip condition.
  • Use rubber mats in areas where the floors are constantly wet
preventing slips and falls52
Preventing Slips and Falls

Minimize the number of people who have to walk through kitchen areas

preventing slips and falls53
Preventing Slips and Falls
  • See and avoid obstacles
  • Use storage areas so that equipment doesn’t have to be stored in walkways.
  • Use ramps instead of steps.
  • Don’t drape electrical leads across the floor.
preventing slips and falls54
Preventing Slips and Falls
  • Make sure mats and carpet are free of holes and bumps
  • Report poor lighting and replace burned out bulbs as soon as possible
  • Do not leave oven, dishwasher, or cupboard doors open
  • Report or fix hazards immediately
sample shoe policy
Sample Shoe Policy

To prevent slips and falls use shoes with:

  • Slip-resistant soles and a good tread
  • Tightly tied laces
  • No leather or smooth soles
  • No open-toes
  • No platform or high heels
  • No porous fabric such as canvas
slip accident
Slip Accident

A kitchen worker was walking past a deep fat fryer carrying a box of potato peelings when his foot slipped from under him.

slip accident57
Slip Accident

As he reached out to catch himself he plunged his arm into hot oil. He sustained full thickness burns to his hand and arm and further burns to his face due to the oil splashing onto him. As a result he underwent several reconstructive surgeries and was off work for almost five months.

slip accident58
Slip accident

Full thickness burns (3rd degree)

accident investigation
Accident Investigation

An investigation found that there had been problems on a daily basis with water pooling on the floor around the dishwasher, vegetable preparation area and steamers.

accident investigation60
Accident Investigation

The employer said that the problems were due to leaks and improper operation of the dishwasher by staff. The company had a slip and falls risk assessment program.

accident investigation61
Accident Investigation

Previous health department inspections indicated that the condition of the floor and its resistance to slips was poor and mentioned the presence of water on the floor.

accident investigation62
Accident Investigation

Despite these checks and staff complaints effective solutions had not implemented.

accident investigation63
Accident Investigation

OSHA, upon a receiving a complaint, investigated the accident, and determined that the employer was at fault. They subsequently levied a 7000.00 fine, and gave them 72 hours to remediate the hazard.

accident investigation64
Accident Investigation

The employee sued his employer in civil court.

A jury sided with the plaintiff, and awarded 76,000.00 in actual damages, and 2.3 million in punitive damages

The employee lost 65% of the use of both arms

preventing falls from ladders
Preventing Falls From Ladders

To reduce the risk of falls from ladders:

  • Use ladders with slip-resistant feet
  • Do not use defective ladders
  • Do not use chairs, boxes, or tables as a substitute for a ladder
  • Set ladder on a flat, firm surface
  • Face the ladder when standing on it and when climbing up or down
  • Keep the center of your body between the side rails of the ladder
  • Don’t work from the top two steps of a ladder
repetitive motion injuries67
Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. All of these disorders are made worse by the repetitive actions of daily living.

repetitive motion injuries68
Repetitive Motion Injuries

The most common types of repetitive motion injuries are tendonitis and bursitis.

These 2 disorders are difficult to differentiate and many times may coexist.

repetitive motion injuries69
Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon.
  • Common sites of tendonitis include the shoulder, the biceps, and the elbow (such as tennis elbow).
repetitive motion injuries70
Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Tendons run through a lubricating sheath where they connect into muscle, and this sheath also may become inflamed. This condition is known as tenosynovitis
  • Tenosynovitis of the wrist may be involved in carpal tunnel syndrome.
repetitive motion injuries71
Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Bursae are small pouches or sacs that are found over areas where friction may develop and serve to cushion or lubricate the area between tendon and bone.
  • Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa sac.
  • Common areas where bursitis can occur include the elbow, knee, and hip. .
  • Traumatic bursitis is the type involved with repetitive motion injuries and is most common in people younger than 35 years
repetitive motion injuries72
Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Repetitive motion disorders develop because of microscopic tears in the tissue. When the body is unable to repair the tears in the tissue as fast as they are being made, inflammation occurs, leading to the sensation of pain.
  • Tendonitis is best treated with immobilization and ice during the

early phase and moist heat during the long-term phase.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen

may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation.

  • If your tendonitis or bursitis is not helped by NSAIDs, the doctor

may choose to inject steroids into the surrounding area of


  • You should begin graduated range-of-motion exercise once your symptoms begin to improve.
  • Do adequate warm-up and cool-down maneuvers
  • Avoid activity that makes your injury flare up. This will speed healing of both tendonitis and bursitis
  • Practice range-of-motion exercises, especially in tendonitis. These are important to ensure minimal decrease in function
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff

Manual handling, especially in storage areas, can lead to injuries. Design and organize the workplace to make manual handling easier:

preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff79
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Keep loads off the floor
  • Heavier objects should be stored between chest and knuckle height
  • Lighter objects can be stored above chest height
  • Medium weight objects can be stored below knuckle height
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff80
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Provide dollies and other lifting and handling equipment
  • Provide training in manual handling skills
  • Reduce the weight of the load
    • Share the load between two or more persons
    • Split the load into two or more smaller boxes,
    • Make more than one trip
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff81
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Keep the work area free of clutter. Cluttered workspaces can cause awkward postures that make handling tasks more difficult
  • Remove trip hazards from the area, and
  • Eliminate obstacles that workers must reach over
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff82
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Choose utensils designed to reduce force and awkward posture:
    • tools with large rounded grips so you can use your whole hand rather than just fingers
    • knives that are sharp and designed for the task
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff83
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Store frequently used utensils, dishes, and food between shoulder and hip height, close to where they are needed
  • Tilt bins toward you
  • Use a work surface near waist height for forceful tasks such as chopping
  • Use work surface near elbow height for finely detailed work such as pastries and candies
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in kitchen staff84
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Kitchen Staff
  • Stand as near the work surface as possible
  • Reduce your reach by using the near part of the work surface, grill, or stove
  • Place one foot on a step or rail to reduce stress on back and legs. Alternate which foot is on the rail from time to time
  • Use anti-fatigue matting
  • Wear shoes with cushioning
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in dishwashers
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Dishwashers
  • Stand as close to the work surface as possible
  • When placing glasses into racks, fill the near rows first, then rotate the rack to bring the back rows to the front
  • Turn your feet to point at your work to prevent twisting your back
  • Lower your rinse nozzle to rest at mid-body height to reduce your reach
  • Don’t overload dish racks so that weight is lower
preventing sprains strains and overexertion in dishwashers86
Preventing Sprains, Strains, and Overexertion in Dishwashers
  • Rack heavier items, such as plates, closest to you
  • Choose cleaning tools with good grips when heavy duty cleaning is needed
  • Place one foot on a step or rail to reduce stress on back and legs. Alternate which foot is on the rail from time to time
  • Use anti-fatigue matting
  • Wear shoes with cushioning
burns and scalds88
Burns and Scalds

Result primarily from:

  • Spilling and splashing of hot fats, oils, and food products
  • Hot beverages
  • Contact with hot surfaces such as stove tops, ovens, grills, pots, pans, and trays
  • Steam
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Turn off stoves when not in use
  • Assume all pots and metal handles are hot. Touch only when you are sure they are not hot or when wearing proper gloves/mitts
  • Organize your work area to prevent contact with hot objects and flames
  • Keep pot handles away from hot burners
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds90
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Make sure handles of pots and pans do not stick out from counter or stove
  • Use oven mitts that are provided and long gloves for deep ovens
  • Use only recommended temperature settings for each type of cooking
  • Follow manufacturer’s operating instructions. Manuals are available through your supervisor
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds91
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Open hot water and hot liquid faucet slowly to avoid splashes
  • Open lids away from you to allow steam to escape
  • Wear long-sleeved cotton shirts and cotton pants
  • Report any faulty equipment to your supervisor
  • Do not overfill pots, pans, or fryers
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds92
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Do not leave metal spoons in pots while cooking
  • Do not overstretch to reach an uncomfortable distance
  • Do not open cookers and steamers while they are under pressure
  • Do not lean over pots of boiling liquids
  • Remember that foods removed from the microwave continue to cook
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds93
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Dry items thoroughly before using with hot oil
  • Food items for frying should be placed in the basket first, then lowered into hot oil, rather than dropping food directly into the oil. Lower basket slowly into oil
  • Use rollers for moving large vats
to reduce the risk of burns and scalds94
To Reduce the Risk of Burns and Scalds:
  • Allow grease to cool before transporting, filtering, or disposing
  • Two people are to be used for changing and disposing of grease, due to heavy lifting
  • Do not stand on hot fryer to clean ventilation components or filters. Use a ladder or stepstool.
summary of personal protective equipment for food service workers
Summary of Personal Protective Equipment For Food Service Workers
  • Gloves:
    • Chemical-resistant gloves when cleaning with or handling chemicals (check MSDS for specific type of glove required)
    • Work gloves when handling garbage or working in storage areas
    • Cut-resistant gloves for some cutting and equipment cleaning operations
summary of personal protective equipment for food service workers97
Summary of Personal Protective Equipment For Food Service Workers
  • Footwear:
    • Non-slip footwear
  • Safety glasses, goggles, and face shields:
    • Safety glasses when general eye protection is required
    • Safety goggles and face shields when there is a great danger of chemical splashes
developing an occupational safety plan
Developing an Occupational Safety Plan

Developing a Hazard Analysis is the starting point

  • Identify potential hazards
  • Determine their likelihood of occurrence (risks)
  • Identify who is vulnerable

Once hazards, risks and vulnerabilities have been identified;

Develop and implement controls to reduce or completely eliminate the hazards

  • Administrative Controls: written operating procedures that outline acceptable methods to perform a specific job task
  • Accountability: employees must receive training in these task specific areas. This must be documented
  • Engineering Controls: Management has a responsibility to provide engineering controls to reduce or eliminate hazards

Examples: Hood vents, floor mats, ground fault protection

dual responsibilities
Dual Responsibilities
  • The employer has a responsibility to provide a workplace free of hazards
  • The employee has a responsibility to practice safe work techniques
  • It IS a team effort
A successful, injury free workplace requires
  • Employer Commitment
  • Employee Commitment
But most of all, everyone involved in the workplace must embrace all safety concepts

not as just a concept..

But as an everyday attitude

Everyone must practice good safety practices as if their lives depended on it


Thank you for taking the time to learn about safety and health and how to prevent food service injuries and illnesses.

For reprints of this presentation, or general questions, our website is

Or email [email protected]