Restaurants and commercial kitchens are filled with equipment that can cause injuries such as broken or mutilated hands, severe burns and more. Workplace accidents happen all the time – over 5,000 people died during the work in 2018. That is why organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were created: to prevent workplace injuries by improving conditions and safety regulations. One of the most important safety requirements in the workplace is machine protection.
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What is machine safety?
Machine safety is functions that are installed on machines or equipment that have moving parts that can injure employees. Employers are responsible for protecting machinery and should consider this need when purchasing machinery. Most machines purchased new come with manufacturer-installed protection measures, but used or older machines may not have the correct machine protection. If your machines do not have protection, you may be able to buy them from the original machine manufacturer or from an after-sales manufacturer. Protective equipment should only be designed and installed by technically qualified personnel. If possible, the original equipment manufacturer should review protective structures to ensure that it protects employees without interfering with machine use or creating additional hazards.
Two primary methods are used to protect machines: protection and protective devices.
- Protection: prevents access and contact to dangerous and dangerous areas. Protection is preferred because they are physical barriers that enclose dangerous and dangerous machine parts and prevent employees from contacting them. Protectors are installed directly on the machine to protect against hazards such as moving parts, sparks or debris. Protection must be properly designed and installed; and can not create additional hazards such as pinch points. The openings in the guards must be small enough to prevent employees from entering risk areas. An example of this is protection that is installed on a bakery mixer.
- Protective devices: are machine controls or accessories which, when properly designed, applied and used, prevent accidental access by employees to hazardous and dangerous areas of machinery. This may include presence sensing devices, such as photoelectric sensors that prevent the machine from working if an employee's hands or body parts are accidentally placed in the hazardous area. This may also include two-handed controls that require both operator's hands to be on the controls when using the machine. Protective devices must be properly designed and installed at predetermined safe distances from the danger area of the machine and other dangerous moving parts.
Restaurant equipment that requires machine protection
Although many examples of machine protection are more common in manufacturing plants and factories, restaurants and commercial kitchens often also have dangerous equipment and machines that require machine protection. These may include:
- Meat slices, hackers and dicers
- Bakery mixers
- Food processors
- Steam cookers and pressure cookers
- All portable power tools
Common hazards in restaurant kitchens
Studies have shown that the "food industry" was significantly higher than the morbidity of the non-food industry. " Most injuries in the food industry are caused by slips / falls, falling objects, chemical hazards, fires, machine accidents and food toxicity.
Any number of these incidents could harm not only staff and the business in general but also customers. That is why it is the restaurant owner's responsibility to protect the health and safety of his workers. OSHA recommends:
- Always use machine safety on equipment
- Train all employees in how to use machines correctly
- Provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintaining all equipment
- According to child labor legislation which states that no child under the age of 18 may "use, set, adjust, clean, oil or repair electric hobs, grinders, hackers, cutters, bakery mixers and other powered bakery machines ”
How insurance can help restaurants reduce risk
Our business insurance program is tailored to the unique needs of your bar or restaurant. Your local community agent will help you determine the restaurant insurance needed to protect your livelihood. To learn more about how community insurance can help your restaurant grow and mitigate risks, contact a community agent in your area.
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