Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Electrical Hazards Slips/Trips/Falls General Hazards

This section may be of interest to the young worker but is provided mainly for the employer. Other sections of this eTool reference this area for additional information. The following topics are covered:
Take the Quiz
Safety Poster
Fire Hazards New Workers

Electrical Hazards
Potential Hazard
Workers in restaurants are exposed to shocks and electrical hazards from:
  • Worn electric cords or improperly used or damaged extension cords
  • Improperly wired or ungrounded outlets
  • Faulty equipment and wiring
  • Damaged receptacles and connectors
  • Wet clean-up processes
  • Unsafe work practices

Possible Solutions
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. 

Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including those discussed here.
Outlet with GFCI
Outlet with GFCI

Improper Use of Extension and Flexible Cords. Improperly wired and potentially dangerous use of extension cords - no GCFI
Improper Use of Extention and Flexible Cords. Improperly wired and potentially dangerous use of extension cords - no GCFI
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) most electrical hazards can be eliminated through safeguards and safe work practices such as:
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) of the breaker or receptacle type be installed in situations where electricity and wetness coexist. GFCIs will interrupt the electrical circuit before current sufficient to cause death or serious injury has passed through a body. GFCIs are inexpensive ($50-$85 for breaker type, $25-$45 for receptacle type) and a qualified electrician can install them in existing electrical circuits with relative ease.

  • Employers should use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GCFIs) on all 120-volt, single-phase, and 15- and 20-ampere receptacles. 
    • Wear and tear on electrical equipment or tools can result in insulation breaks, short-circuits, and exposed wires. If there is no ground-fault protection, these can cause a ground-fault that sends current through the worker's body, resulting in electrical burns, explosions, fire, or death.
    • The GFCI is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power in the event of a ground-fault and prevent injury to the worker.
  • Ensure that exposed receptacle boxes be made of nonconductive material so that contact with the box will not constitute a "ground."

  • Use plugs and receptacles designed to prevent energization until insertion is complete.

  • Ensure that all circuit breaker or fuse boxes bear a label for each circuit breaker or fuse that clearly identifies its corresponding outlets and fixtures. Also, breaker switches should not be used for on-off switches.

  • Inform all workers, when hired, of electrical hazards and of safe work practices by which to avoid these hazards. Workers should be informed that, in the event of an electrical injury, no contact should be made with the victim or the electrical apparatus causing the injury until the current has been shut off.

  • Encourage workers in restaurants to train in CPR.
Follow OSHA Standards including:

Damaged Cord. Damaged cords should not be used
Damaged Cord. Damaged cords should not be used

Extension Cord with 3-Prong. Use grounded plug with properly grounded outlet
Extension Cord with 3-Prong. Use grounded plug with properly grounded outlet
1910 Subpart S - Electrical some highlights include:
  • Electrical equipment shall be free from recognized hazards [1910.303(b)(1)].

  • Listed or labeled equipment shall be used or installed in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling [1910.303(b)(2)].

  • Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained around all electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment [1910.303(g)(1)].

  • Ensure that all electrical service near sources of water is properly grounded [1910.304(g)(6)(vi)].

  • Tag out and remove from service all damaged receptacles and portable electrical equipment [1910.334(a)(2)(ii)].

  • Repair all damaged receptacles and portable electrical equipment before placing them back into service [1910.334(a)(2)(ii)].

  • Ensure that employees are trained not to plug or unplug energized equipment when their hands are wet [1910.334(a)(5)(i)].

Additional Information:

  Home | Serving | Clean-up | Drive-thru | Cooking | Food Prep | Delivery | General | Resources | Safety Posters | Quizzes | Site Map | Credits