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Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Cooling Vent - Heat Hazards Emergency Extinguisher - Fire Hazards
Circuit Breakers - Electrical Hazards
Oven - Burns
Cooks - Burns
Cook - Strains and Sprains
Wood-heated Oven - Burns
Deep Fat Fryer
Floor Mats - Slips/Trips/Falls
Open Stove - Burns
Fire Extinguisher - Fire Hazards

The Cooking area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity for developing cooking skills, while learning to handle equipment and organize tasks. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:

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Safety Poster

Fire Hazards
Potential Hazard

grill Workers are exposed to fire hazards in restaurants from heat-producing equipment such as burners, ovens, and grills due to:
  • Working around open flames

  • Un-emptied grease traps (possible grease fires)

  • Dirty ducts (possible flue fires)

  • Improper storage of flammable items

  • Faulty or frayed electrical cords

  • Poor housekeeping

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.
  • Extinguish hot oil/grease fires by using a class K fire extinguisher.

  • Never carry or move oil containers when oil is hot or on fire.

  • Never throw water on a grease fire; this will make the fire worse.

  • Empty grease traps frequently; do not allow them to overfill.

  • Understand the fire safety procedures in your workplace, including how to call for help, and follow them in a fire or other emergency.
    • Make sure that if you are working in a commercial kitchen that you know where to find and how to manually activate the cooking appliance fire suppression system.
  • Keep grilling surfaces clean and free from grease accumulations that might ignite and cause a fire.

  • Avoid cooking areas unless your work requires you to be there.

  • Do not use frayed cords or defective equipment.

  • Do not store flammable items near heat-producing equipment or open flames.

  • Know fire alarm locations.

  • If your employer expects you to fight fires:
    • Be sure you have been trained or request training.
    • Know the different types of fire extinguishers and how to use them correctly.
    • Always read the fire extinguisher label before using, to verify it is the correct type to use on the fire.
    • Always sound an alarm, summon the fire department and activate the fixed fire suppression system first.
      • The fixed fire suppression system (manual pull station) is located on the wall (usually near an exit). When activating the system, simply follow the instructions noted on the pull station.
  • Know that if you catch fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL.
Book For more information, see General Hazards Module - Fire Hazards.
Employer Solutions
Example placard containing instructions. [NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers]: Warning - In case of appliance fire, use this extinguisher after fixed suppression system has been actuated. Precaucion - En caso de incendio de algun aparato, utilice este extintor despues de que el sistema fuo de supresion automatico haya sido activado.
Example placard containing instructions. [NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers]

Class K Fire Extinguisher
Class K Fire extinguisher
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. A fire is the most common type of emergency for which small businesses, such as restaurants must plan. A critical decision when planning is whether or not employees should fight a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher or simply evacuate. Use the following references to help in making this decision.

NOTE: Portable fire extinguishers must only be used if the PROPER TRAINING has been provided, if it can be done SAFELY and only after sounding an alarm, summoning the fire department, and activating the fixed fire suppression system.

Follow OSHA Standards including:
  • OSHA's 1910.157 regulation requires you to have an Emergency Action Plan if fire extinguishers are required or provided in your workplace, and if anyone will be evacuating during a fire or other emergency.
  • Employers must educate employees about the correct use of fire extinguishers if they are expected to fight fires. [1910.157(g)(3)]
    • Training must include information about approved types of extinguishers [1910.157(c)(2)]. Class K fire extinguishers are approved in kitchens.

Additional Resources

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