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Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Strains and Sprains Warmer - Kitchen Equipment
Dough Roller - Machine Guarding
Mixer - Machine Guarding
Steamer - Kitchen Equipment
Floor Mat - Slips/Trips/Falls
Knives and Cuts
Slicer - Machine Guarding Floor Mat - Slips/Trips/Falls
Knives and Cuts
Knives and Cuts
Food Preparation

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

Knives and Cuts
Potential Hazard

Young workers often help prepare foods for restaurants and are exposed to cuts while using sharp kitchen tools such as knives or cleavers.

Other sharp surfaces and equipment may also provide a cutting hazard for workers.
Cutting Board with Knife
Possible Solutions

Young Worker Solutions
Dangerous cutting position
Dangerous cutting position

Cut away from the body keeping thumb out of the cutting line
Cut away from the body keeping thumb out of the cutting line
  Store knives in knife holders
Store knives in knife holders
  Sheath storage bag
Sheath storage bag
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.

  • Handle , use, and store knives and other sharp utensils safely.

  • Cut in the direction away from the body.

  • Keep your fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line.

  • Use any protective clothing provided by employer such as steel mesh or Kevlar gloves.

  • Use a knife only for its intended purpose and use the appropriate knife for the cutting job.

  • Store knives, saws, and cleavers in a designated storage area when not in use. Do not store the blades with the cutting edge exposed.
    • Install knife holders on work tables to prevent worker injury.
    • Equip newly purchased knives with blade guards or knuckle guards that protect the hand from slipping onto the blade.
  • Let a falling knife fall. Do not try to catch it.

  • Carry knives with the cutting edge angled slightly away from your body, with the tip pointed down to your side.

  • Place a knife that you are handing to someone, down on a clean surface, and let the other person pick it up.

  • Clean the knife immediately after use or place it in a dishwasher or a container labeled "for knives only."

  • Do not store knives and other sharp objects in sinks between periods of use. 

  • Do not touch knife blades.

  • Avoid placing knives near the edge of a countertop.

  • Do not talk with coworkers while using a knife. When interrupted, stop cutting and place the knife down on a secure surface. Do not try to cut while distracted.
Employer Solutions
Steel mesh gloves protect against blade cuts
Steel mesh gloves protect against blade cuts

Unsafe way to sharpen knives
Unsafe way to sharpen knives

Shake mixer blade
Shake mixer blade

Kevlar gloves protect against blade cuts
Kevlar gloves protect against blade cuts

Safer way to sharpen knives
Safer way to sharpen knives

Securely hold shake cup container on mixer blade
Securely hold shake cup container on mixer blade
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:
  • Follow the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard [1910.132]:
    • Assess tasks to identify potential worksite hazards and provide and ensure employee use of appropriate personal protective equipment.
    • Require employees to use appropriate hand protection when hands are exposed to hazards such as cuts and lacerations. For example, use steel mesh or Kevlar gloves when cutting. Hand Protection Standard [1910.138(a)].
Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:
  • Allow only experienced, trained workers to sharpen knives. This is done correctly by keeping the thumb beneath the knuckle guard rim protection on the handle of the sharpener, rather than on top of the rim where it may get cut.

  • Keep knives sharpened and in good condition; dull knives tend to slip and may cause injuries. Tell other staff when knives are newly sharpened.

  • Protect workers who use shake mixer blades. Remind workers to securely hold the top of the container onto the shake cup while mixing to avoid exposure to the blade.

 

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