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

Strains and Sprains
Potential Hazard

Cooking Strain and Static Postures
Workers who cook in restaurants are exposed to strains and sprains from prolonged standing and repetitive or prolonged reaching while cooking and turning food on a hot grill or stove surface.
  • Static postures may occur as cooks continuously stand in one position while cooking or preparing food, causing pooling of blood in the lower extremities, muscle fatigue, and pain.

  • Prolonged standing on hard work surfaces such as concrete can create contact trauma and pain in the feet.

  • Awkward neck postures can lead to neck strains and muscle stiffness if a cook constantly tilts the head downward or upward to cook food.

  • Repeatedly lifting the arms or over-reaching can irritate the tendons or bursa of the shoulder, possibly leading to arm and shoulder strain.

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.

Identify strain and sprain hazards in your worksite and find ways to decrease them by applying ergonomic solutions. For example:
  • Avoid static postures by continually changing your position. Use a foot rest bar or a low stool to help alter your posture by raising one foot and then the other.

  • Use anti-fatigue mats, if available, on hard work surfaces. Anti-fatigue mats help contract and expand the muscles of the person standing on them increasing blood-flow and reducing fatigue.

  • Wear shoes with well-cushioned insteps and soles.

  • Use height-adjustable work surfaces, if available.

  • Minimize reaching by organizing your work environment so that most cooking processes can be completed within easy reach and while keeping your elbows in close to your body.

Areas of reach Anti-fatigue mat Foot rest bar
Areas of reach

Anti-fatigue mat Foot rest bar

Additional Information:

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