Keep the Burns at Bay

By SME Insurance

Posted 09/05/16

One of the most common personal injuries in a fish and chip shop is a burn, more often than not from coming into contact with hot oil from a frying range.

Make no mistake; these injuries can be very serious. While fish and chip shop employees may have suffered very minor burns from time to time that is no reason for complacency. Burns from hot oils can be life altering – causing intense pain and scarring.

Avoiding such incidents is not just a matter of good employment practice. Serious accidents can bring costly liability claims, health and safety executive investigations and, where serious failings are found, prosecution.

With all this in mind, looking after the health and safety of staff and customers by taking sensible steps to reduce risk from hot oils is a must.

Understand the Risks

The first step here is to realise that staff are at risk every time they come into contact with a frying range.

But the risk is not limited to cooking time. Workers are also at risk from hot splashing oil even when they are not directly operating the fryer.

Give Proper Training

The golden rule is to not allow anyone to operate fryers or handle oils without proper training. That training should be delivered by a supervisor, and emphasise the importance of exercising caution around frying ranges, as well as the usual best practices for safe operation of the equipment.

Equally, all staff should wear appropriate uniforms at all times. Uniforms should comprise of a long-sleeved cotton shirt, long trousers and an apron to shield against hot oil splashes.

Take Care When Cooking

There are some simple but essential best practices to follow when using a fryer. For instance, ensure the correct grease levels and cooking temperatures are maintained, and never risk a flare up by putting water or ice into the fryer.

Meanwhile, be careful to avoid overfilling the fryer with frozen foods, as this may cause excessive splashing and bubbling. Finally, be careful to ensure the floor around fryers is completely dry, to prevent potentially dangerous slips.

Prepare for the Worst

Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of burns, so it is also important to know what to do if the worst should happen.

The key is to act quickly. Call 999 immediately, and apply emergency aid while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. That should include elevating the burnt body part above the heart if possible and covering the victim with a clean sheet or blanket – but resisting the temptation to immerse large, severe burns in water.

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

Source Zywave:

• Restaurant Playing it Safe: Avoid Fryer Burns, July 2015.

• Preventing Scalds and Burns in Restaurants, July 2015.

Posted 09/05/16

Author: SME Insurance

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