A Health & Safety Prod
Obviously, a commercial kitchen is a place of work and up there with other high risk industries such as construction and farming.
Often high pressured, fast moving and time constrained shifts require staff, especially chefs, porters and general assistants, to receive training on the basics of manual handling, effective movement in the work place and preventing slips & trips, cuts and burns etc.
Apart from operating lifting/moving machinery, a commercial kitchen includes pretty much every type of health and safety risk. Therefore, staff must have a heightened awareness of safety. Workplace accidents create chaos and if a business critical staff member is injured and requires time off, the impact can be very costly.
Below, I’ve included links to several briefs on safety and risk assessments required for the catering industry, all borrowed from the Health and Safety Excecutive website.
No one is expecting business owners and management to be experts in all areas, but everyone has a responsibility to look after themselves, colleagues and customers. Failure to demonstrate due diligence and adequate knowledge, especially in the event of an accident and/or injury, is no defence and the old saying ‘Prevention is Better Than Cure’ is a solid principle to follow.
Staff day one inductions must include safety briefs and training. Whilst there is commonality, every workplace is different and all incumbent staff has to be introduced to their new place of work and particular risks of the environment they will be working in.
HACCP – Hazard Assessment of Critical Control Points.
Assessing every possible risk in your business is critical as this identifies obvious and the not so obvious risks and methods of cancelling/reducing/managing these risks accordingly. Recording HACCP findings is mandatory for use in training, re training and if requested by Authorities demonstrating you have taken thorough steps to reduce risk and prevent injury.
Accidents cost time, lost profits, loss of production, drops in standards, places pressures on others and worst case scenario, if an employer is found wanting, the cost of legal actions can be crippling.
Its about a common sense approach. Staff will expect to see their employers take safety seriously and be fully compliant. Employers should identify shortfalls in safety knowledge and train accordingly. Then monitor performance to ensure staff are operating to company and government guidelines.
Safety and Risk assessment isn’t a choice, but it isn’t a chore either. Its simply another mandatory action which requires tactile effort to set up, then progressive and regular review.
Stay Safe and don’t forget, every workplace requires a qualified first-aider and accident reporting system!