Kitchens are a major part of most churches. Unfortunately though, they are also an area where many accidents can occur. For that reason, it is important to follow the set guidelines and rules to ensure a safe and accident-free kitchen environment. For the next two weeks we will be talking about some important rules for your church kitchen.
Slips and falls are a common hazard in kitchen areas. That is why it is important to pay special attention to the flooring in your kitchen. To prevent slipping: clean up any dropped food or spilled substances immediately. Be sure that everyone working in the kitchen is wearing properly fitted slip-resistant shoes. Each night, the floor should be thoroughly cleaned with a degreasing agent. If necessary, post a “wet floor” sign to alert others to slippery conditions. Keep all aisles and walkways clear from obstructions. It’s also important to prohibit horse playing and running in the kitchen.
Cuts and Bruises
Cuts and bruises are another common injury that occurs in the kitchen. Here are some guidelines to avoid them:
Knives: Dull knives slip easier than sharp ones, so keep knives sharp. Always choose the proper knife for the job and use a cutting board. Wipe knives clean by moving your cloth from the dull edge to the sharp edge. Cut away from your body, and don’t hack. (Wear cut-resistant gloves, as recommended.) Let falling knives fall, never attempt to catch them! Be sure to store knives in their proper places.
Dishes/Glasses: To avoid breakage, store glasses and cups upside down, never stack them. Don’t pick up several glasses in one hand by inserting your fingers into the glasses. Never put glassware in a sink used for washing pots.
If you do break a glass item: use a broom and dustpan, or a damp paper or cloth to pick up the pieces. Do not use your bare hands to clean up the broken glass. If the glass is in a sink with water, drain the water before trying to remove glass from a sink. Label some paper with the word “glass.” Then wrap the glass in the paper, and discard in the proper receptacle.
Machinery: Machines should only be operated by persons that are trained and authorized. For safe operation, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed. If you have long hair, a hair net should be worn. Keep all guards on equipment. Turn off the switch, and pull the plug before you clean or adjust equipment. Use special care when operating rotating choppers and vertical cutter mixers. Use a wooden tamper when operating food choppers and meat grinders.
You should always avoid putting your hands inside a garbage disposal. If you must retrieve an object, make sure the power is off! To avoid other possible hazards, don’t forget to: wear gloves, and watch for nails, wires and splinters, if you must handle crates. Use a stiff brush for scrubbing. Steel wool can cause cuts. Wear cut-resistant gloves when cleaning slicers. Remove can lids completely. Pull – don’t push – carts through doorways. Keep the work area clean and orderly.
For more information about kitchen safety in churches – download our free church safety manual here. Tune in next week as we continue to talk about this very important topic – kitchen safety.