Slips and trips are the most common cause of major accident in the Catering Industry. The estimated cost to society for slips, trips and falls in the workplace is in excess of £800 million according to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In simple human terms, it’s also the source of a great deal of personal suffering and severe injuries that can cause long-term disability.
So where are the risks in the food and catering industry?
According to HSE, there are a number of areas that need to be considered – with proper safety measures and staff training put in place. These include:
• Carrying hot oil – always follow manufacturer’s instructions when emptying deep fat fryers
• Food spills – it’s essential to clean up food spillages as soon as they happen
• Water overflows or leaks – water dripping onto floors can create a serious hazard so leaks should be fixed immediately
• Floors in poor condition – damaged and uneven floor surfaces area frequent source of slips and trips and must be highlighted to staff and fixed as soon as possible
• Trip hazards – unexpected obstacles cause trips and falls so make sure obstacles are removed from work areas
• Cleaning – wet and dirty floors are the cause of most accidents so cleaning should be done at the right time using the right products and equipment
Remember prevention is always better than cure, so it makes sense to frequently carry out a risk assessment for your workplace and to regularly check with staff to make sure safety procedures are being followed.
Simple preventative measures can make all the difference. These include:
• Maintaining equipment to prevent any leaks
• Having a system to report any equipment faults
• Using splashguards or edged work surfaces
• Always covering pots and pans with their lids
• Having good extraction and ventilation
• Using drainage channels and drip trays
• Preventing water from being walked into the kitchen
Looking to the future and creating a clear plan means that even when things get hectic in the kitchen, slips and trips can be avoided. After all, it’s usually bad practice that causes accidents.
It is the responsibility of employees to ensure they watch out for any evident risks and report them as soon as possible.