The Delivery area of a restaurant offers
young workers an opportunity for developing skills in communication,
material handling, and inventory control. Young workers in this area
may also be exposed to the following hazards:
Remember: Child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 16 to perform freezer or meat cooler work.
Young workers may be exposed to cold temperatures
from working in refrigerator or freezer delivery storage areas.
Staff can be trapped inside refrigerators
or freezers if the door accidentally closes behind them. Trapped workers can be exposed to very cold temperatures and
suffer from hypothermia.
Condensation inside refrigerators or freezers can cause floors to become wet and slippery, leading
to potential slips and falls.
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.
Check cold storage areas periodically and at closing time to
make sure no one is trapped inside.
Wear warm clothing when entering or spending time in a
Wear personal protective equipment for unpacking and sorting meat and
other food products in freezers (such as hats, gloves, and rubber-soled non-slip shoes).
Keep floors free from slip hazards
like spills or clutter, use non- slip matting for potentially
Follow OSHA Standards including:
Provide a panic bar or other means of exit on the inside of
walk-in freezers to prevent trapping workers inside.
Maintenance, Safeguards, and Operational Features for Exit
Routes Standard [ 1910.37].
Provide a means of egress for all walk-in storage areas (especially refrigerators or
Assess tasks to identify
potential worksite hazards and provide and ensure employee use
of appropriate personal protective equipment. Personal Protective Equipment Standard
Keep places of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary
condition. Walking/Working Surfaces Standard [ 1910.22(a)(1)].
Follow that do not permit workers younger than 16 to perform freezer or meat cooler work.
For more information, see Delivery
Heat and Cold Exposure.
1910.22, General requirements (Walking/working surfaces).
Business Handbook. OSHA Publication 2209-02R, (2005). Also
available as a 260 KB