Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Strains and Sprains
Automatic Dishwasher - Burns and Scalds
Unwashed Sharps - Cuts Strains and Sprains
Automatic Dishwasher - Electrical Hazards
Automatic Dishwasher - Hazardous Chemicals
Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls
Clean-up

The Clean-up area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity to learn clean-up duties while handling various equipment and products. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:
 
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Safety Poster
Electrical Hazards
Potential Hazard

Hazard: Unplugging or plugging in electrical appliances with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface
Hazard: Unplugging or plugging in electrical appliances with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface
Young restaurant workers may be exposed to electric shock or electrocution hazards during clean-up due to contact with:
  • Faulty electrical appliances or contact with an energized source that may be in use in the commercial kitchen

  • Worn electric cords, or improperly used or damaged extension cords

  • Improperly wired or ungrounded outlets

  • Faulty equipment and wiring

  • Damaged receptacles and connectors

  • Wet clean-up processes

  • Unsafe work practices

Possible Solutions

Young Worker Solutions

Employers have the primary responsibility for protecting the safety and health of their workers. Employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers.

Receptacle type (GFCI)
Receptacle type (GFCI)

Damaged cord
Damaged cord

Do not put your fingers on the prongs of a plug
Do not put your fingers on the prongs of a plug
  • Identify and report any workplace hazards to supervisors.

  • Attend any training meetings provided by employer.

  • Report any unsafe working conditions to supervisor.
Eliminating electrical hazards through safeguards and safe work practices including:
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) receptacles for your own protection if they are available. Encourage employers to install these lifesaving, inexpensive devices. See ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

  • Become educated about electrical hazards. Understand how potential electrical accidents may occur and how to help avoid them. For example:
    • Do not put your fingers or other materials on the prongs of a plug while you are inserting it into an outlet. Keep your hands well back on the plug.
    • Remove plugs from receptacles by pulling on the plug, not the cord. Pulling on the cord could damage the cord and increase the risk of shocks.
    • Do not use damaged cords or receptacles. This may promote shocks.

  • Understand that touching the outside of a metal outlet box with one hand while plugging in an appliance with the other hand may complete the electrical "circuit," forcing current through you and exposing you to possible shock or electrocution.

  • Do not plug in electrical equipment with wet hands or while touching a wet or damp surface.

  • Use plugs and receptacles that have been designed to prevent energization until insertion is complete.
Know emergency procedures and policies for electrical emergencies at work including:
  • Learn how to shut off the current (such as flip breakers, or lever switch, etc.) in case of an emergency.

  • Make sure electrical control panels are properly labeled.

  • Never touch an electrocution victim until the power has been turned off.

  • Never use faulty equipment or damaged receptacles and/or connectors.

  • Never plug in electrical equipment with wet hands or while touching a wet or damp surface.

  • Learn how to perform CPR.
For information on how electricity works and how shocks occur see:
Employer Solutions
Damaged cord
Damaged cord

Keeping cords above ground in wet environments reduces the chance of electrical shock and reduces wear and tear on cords
Keeping cords above ground in wet environments reduces the chance of electrical shock and reduces wear and tear on cords

Follow OSHA Standards including:
  • Ensure that all electrical service near sources of water is properly grounded. Electrical Standard [1910.304(g)(6)(vi)(C)(5)].
  • Ensure electrical equipment shall be free from recognized hazards [1910.303(b)(1)].

  • Tag out and remove from service all damaged receptacles and portable electrical equipment [1910.334(a)(2)(ii)].

  • Repair all damaged receptacles and portable electrical equipment before placing them back into service [1910.334(a)(2)(ii)].

  • Ensure that employees are trained to not plug or unplug energized equipment when their hands are wet [1910.334(a)(5)(i)].

  • Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard. Provide floor plugs or ceiling plugs for equipment so power cords need not run across pathways. Walking-working Surfaces Standard [1910.22(b)(1)].
books For more information, see General Hazards - Electrical Hazards.


Additional Resources

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