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Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
No Smoking Sign - ETS
Swinging Doors - Slips/Trips/Falls
Hot Serving Equipment - Burns and Scalds
Serving Tray - Strains and Sprains
Cutting Utensils - Knives and Cuts
Ice Machine - Slips/Trips/Falls
Cash Register - Workplace Violence
Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls
Unserved Food - Strains and Sprains
Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls
Serving
The Serving area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity for direct interaction with the customer, while learning food service and money handling skills. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:
 
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Safety Poster

Knives and Cuts
Potential Hazard

Server Cutting Bread
Knives are frequently found in the serving area. Servers may be expected to use knives to cut bread or other items they bring to the table. Occasionally, broken glass also creates a hazard in the serving area.

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.
Do not use a glass to scoop ice
Do not use a glass to scoop ice


Use a broom and dustpan to clean up broken glass
Use a broom and dustpan to clean up broken glass
  • Do not use a glass to scoop ice (it can break from the cold ice, causing cuts to the server and glass in the ice bin); use a metal or plastic ice scoop for placing ice in glasses.
  • Do not pick up broken glass with your hands; use a broom and a dustpan.

  • Use cutting boards for safe cutting and chopping.

  • Avoid talking with co-workers or customers while using a knife.

  • Focus your attention on the cutting task while using a knife or other sharp utensil. Distractions increase your risk of getting cut.

  • Learn to use a knife safely:
    • Cut in the direction away from your body.
    • Keep your fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line.

  • Place dirty knives in a designated container for cleaning, rather than storing in sinks. Wear heavy-duty gloves while cleaning sharp utensils.
Book For more information, see the Food Preparation - Knives and Cuts.
 
Employer 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.

Follow OSHA Standards including:
  • Ensure employees use appropriate hand protection when hands are exposed to hazards such as cuts, lacerations, and thermal burns. Hand Protection Standard [1910.138(a)].
Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:
  • Keep knives sharpened and in good condition; dull knives tend to slip and may cause injuries. Inform workers when knives are newly sharpened.

  • Instruct employees on safe handling, use and storage of knives, including designating a location or container to store knives and other sharp equipment.

  • Train employees to store knives with the blades all facing one direction.



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