Are You Frying Safely?

By SME Insurance

Posted 01/04/16

Burns from coming into contact with hot oil from a fryer are the most common form of personal injuries befalling fish and chip shop staff – and most are entirely avoidable.

It may be true that fish and chip shop employees suffer very minor burns from time to time, but there is no room for complacency when it comes to fryer safety. Burns from hot oils can be very serious, even life altering – causing intense pain and scarring.

What’s more, avoiding burn accidents is not just about good employment practice. Severe incidents can bring potentially expensive liability claims, health and safety executive investigations and, if serious failings are found, prosecution.

All this means that the responsibility to safeguard the health and safety of staff and customers, by taking sensible steps to reduce risk from hot oils, is something that no fish and chip shop owner can afford to ignore.

Identify the Risks

First of all, of course, it is vitally important to realise that your staff are at risk every time they come into contact with deep fat fryers.

This awareness is the crucial starting point for risk management, and includes the realisation that risk is not just limited to cooking time. All members of staff are also at risk from hot splashing oil when they are not directly operating the fryer.

Train Your Staff

Proper training is a vital foundation for fryer risk management – indeed, no-one should be allowed to operate fryers or handle oils without the right training.

Getting that training right is clearly very important. It should be delivered by a supervisor and emphasise the importance of exercising caution around fryers. Crucially it should make best practices for safe operation of the equipment easy to understand and remember.

In addition, it is important that staff know they must wear appropriate uniforms at all times. They should include long-sleeved cotton shirts, long trousers, and aprons to guard against hot oil splashes.

Take Precautions

When it comes to using a fryer, there are a number of simple but important best practices to follow. They include making sure you are using the right grease levels and cooking temperatures, and avoiding dangerous flare ups – for instance, water or ice should never be put into the fryer.

Similarly, cooking too much frozen food in the fryer at one time can cause excessive splashing and bubbling, and the floor around your fryers must be completely dry, to prevent potentially dangerous slips.

Be Prepared

Sadly, it is not possible to entirely eradicate burn risks, so it is also essential that all members of staff know what to do in the event of an incident.

First and foremost, it is important to act quickly. That means calling 999 immediately, and applying emergency aid while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. That should include raising the burnt area above the heart if possible and cover the affected member of staff with a clean sheet or blanket.

Remember, these relatively simple steps could prevent a serious accident befalling you or a member of your staff and protect your business from the consequences that can follow – so take steps to make sure you are frying safely.

SME Insurance (SMEi) offers specialist knowledge in the fish and chip shop insurance sector, along with expert advice on the type and level of insurance you need.

For a quotation from a range of leading UK insurers, call us on 0330 134 4559.

Source Zywave:

• Restaurant Playing it Safe: Avoid Fryer Burns, July 2015.
• Preventing Scalds and Burns in Restaurants, July 2015.

Posted 01/04/16

Author: SME Insurance

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