Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
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food spacer image Strains and Sprains food spacer image Warmer - Kitchen Equipment food spacer image food spacer image
food spacer image Dough Roller - Machine Guarding food spacer image
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Floor Mat - Slips/Trips/Falls food spacer image food spacer image
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Slicer - Machine Guarding Floor Mat - Slips/Trips/Falls food spacer image food spacer image
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The Food Preparation area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity for developing skills in culinary art, sanitation principles, and in the use of kitchen equipment. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:
 
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Safety Poster
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Machine Guarding
What is machine guarding?

When moving machine parts have the potential for causing severe workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands or amputations, machine guarding eliminates or controls these hazards and provides essential and required protection for the worker.

Potential Hazard


No Operators under 18 years old Remember: Child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 18 to operate, set up, adjust, clean, oil, or repair power-driven equipment such as meat slicers or bakery mixers.

Young workers often help prepare foods for restaurants and are exposed to power-driven equipment such as commercial dough mixers, choppers, and slicers that may be hazardous if machine guarding is not in place.

  • Workers can be caught in the rotating blades of the mixer, resulting in strangulations, broken bones, and amputations. Cuts and amputation injuries can also occur when using or cleaning slicers and dicers.
Mixer
No Operators under 18 years old Mixer
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.

Remember:
Child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 18 to operate power-driven equipment such as mixers and slicers. This information is provided for workers 18 years old and older who may be using power-driven equipment in restaurants.

Apron caught in mixer with no guarding
No Operators under 18 years old Apron caught in mixer with no guarding
  • Use caution when working around power-driven equipment.

  • Turn off and unplug machinery before cleaning or removing a blockage.

  • Use any machine guarding that is provided.

  • Get properly trained before using any equipment.

  • Ask that machinery be securely fixed to benches or tabletops.

  • Do not put your hands into machinery to manipulate food. Use pushers or tamps to move food in machinery.

  • Wear proper work clothing, avoiding loose clothing or jewelry that could become caught in machinery; such items caught in machinery can pull you into machinery causing injury and or death.

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's standards, including:

Pie Crust Maker with Machine Gurarding
No Operators under 18 years old Pie crust maker with machine guarding
  • Provide machine guards to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards. Machine Guarding Standard [1910.212(a)(1)].
    • Use tamps or push sticks or other hand tools to feed or remove food from grinders, slicers, or choppers [1910.212(a)(3)(iii)].
    • Isolate hazards with machine guarding (such as providing barrier guards over a mixer when it is in use to prevent strangulation or amputations).
    • Look for examples of machine guarding for General Industry-Bakery equipment in [1910.263]. Paragraph (c) addresses general requirements for machine guarding in Bakeries.
DOL sticker to be placed on equipment young workers are not allowed to operate
DOL sticker to be placed on equipment young workers are not allowed to operate

Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:

  • Label equipment that young workers are not allowed to operate. The DOL YouthRules! website has available downloadable stickers for employers to place on hazardous equipment to alert all workers that no one under 18 years of age may operate the equipment.

Additional Resources
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