Preventing Lifting Injuries For a cook
Preventing Lifting Injuries for a cook, the action for Kitchen Safety besides your knife, your back is probably the most important tool that you’re going to have. That one moment where you pick up that 80-pound whatever, and you pull something in your back, that could be the rest of your career.
A healthy back is critical for a long career in the kitchen. Follow these steps for lifting any load. Get close to the object, and test the weight. Bend your knees with a neutral back posture, and get a good grip. The legs have the strongest muscles in the body, so getting a good position, and securing the item, and then lifting it with your legs. Pivot with your feet; don’t twist your back.
Lift the object smoothly and slowly, keeping it close to your body. Empty garbage containers before they become completely full; this reduces the weight, making the bag easier to lift and tie without any garbage falling on the floor.
You know kitchens are notorious for having limited space, making sure that things are stored as appropriately as you can, so you’re putting the heavy things when you’re storing them down low, you’re not putting the heavy things up high. Lifting heavy things that are coming down over your head — if you don’t know how heavy that thing is, and it comes down on your neck, or your head, it’s not going to be good.
Organize the kitchen so heavy items are stored at waist level. Keep the load between your knees and shoulders. Use dollies or carts whenever possible, and don’t hesitate to get help from others when lifting a heavy load.
You’ve got to take care of your body because this is how you make your money. Don’t burn out and don’t feel like you need to do everything on your own. Just get help. Don’t be a hero. You’re going to want your back when you’re 50 years old.
An injury today potentially can stay with you for a very long time. It’s going to ensure you have a long and prosperous career, so making sure that you have a healthy back is essential. Avoid lifting or carrying items that are slippery, too hot, or unevenly balanced.
Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls When I watch a show like MasterChef and I see somebody running around and they’ve got improper footwear on, they’re running around, you know, like a chicken with their head cut off to get in the fridge and grab their produce and come back, watching it as a chef, you get nervous.
I think those are the things that in the kitchen’s really important to reinforce with younger people, is just slow down. You know, that extra four seconds getting from the fridge to your station is really not going to make that much of a difference.
Always put up warning signs on wet floors. Spills should be mopped as soon as possible, and all floors should be cleaned regularly, according to a schedule. If you don’t take the time to clean up the spill, the things that could happen from that spill become much, much bigger than the minute or two minutes it’s going to take you to get a wet floor sign down, get a towel, mop, whatever it happens to be.
Call someone else to come and give you a hand with the situation. Kitchen staff should wear well-fitting, non-slip footwear. Everybody that’s new to the kitchen should have, as part of the uniform, shoes that have oil-resistant anti-skid. It’s not just slipping and falling that’s going to hurt you in a kitchen.
It’s the things that you’re carrying or the things that are around you that are going to hurt even more. A clean kitchen, where you aren’t likely to trip over something, or misplace something, or find a sharp object under a haphazardly placed item, is a much safer kitchen to work in.
One thing we always really focus is do one job, finish it, and then clean up and then set up for the next task. Keep walkways and aisles clear of boxes and other clutter. Blind corners are a serious hazard in kitchens.
Always announce your presence as you approach one. We call “corner” before we round blind corners no matter if we are carrying or not carrying anything, or if we’re pushing a cart or not. It’s like a double safety thing because if you’re not looking at the mirror at least you can hear. Avoid standing in front of swinging doors and doorways.
In a small kitchen, it’s up to you as the chef, or as the people that are putting the kitchen together, to make sure that the workflow is structured in such a way that you don’t have a lot of places to go. Due to changes in temperature, areas around and inside walk-in freezers can become wet and slippery from condensation.
Taking the time to do things safely and properly; if you’re going to try and speed things up, that’s when I typically hurt myself. I think most people are the same way. Remember, no matter how busy you are, don’t run while working in a kitchen. When carrying large items, always make sure you can see where you’re going.