Do you remember when I talked about Young Worker Safety in Restaurants?
Well, here’s a bit more advice from the wisdom of the Frog.
I briefly mentioned machine guards , but what does that even mean? Machine guarding eliminates or controls hazards and provides essential and required protection for your employees. Machine parts have the potential to cause major chaos that includes injuries such as crushed fingers or hands or amputations. You never knew baking a cake could get so dangerous!
Remember that child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 18 to operate, set up, adjust, clean, oil, or repair power-driven equipment such as meat slicers or bakery mixers.
And now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the facts. Young workers (or minors, as you might call them) often help prepare foods, and do have exposure to power-driven equipment such as commercial dough mixers, choppers, and slicers that may be hazardous if machine guarding is not in place.
Terrible things can happen if proper precautions are not taken. Employees can get caught in mixer blades, causing strangulations, broken bones, and amputations. Cuts and amputation injuries can also occur when using or cleaning slicers and dicers.
Employers have the responsibility of protecting the safety and health of their workers. That also means that employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers.
Here are some basic tools that I will drive home:
- Use caution when working around power-driven equipment.
- Turn off and unplug machinery before cleaning or removing any type of blockage.
- Use any machine guarding or bumpers that are provided.
- Get properly trained/make sure your employees are properly trained before using any equipment.
- Ensure that machinery is securely fixed to benches or tabletops.
- Use pushers or tamps to move food in machinery. Do not put your hands into machinery to manipulate food.
- Wear proper work clothing, avoiding loose clothing or jewelry that could become caught in machinery; such items (necklaces, neck ties, apron strings, scarves, long hair, etc.) caught in machinery can pull you into machinery causing injury and or death.
Isolate hazards with machine guarding (such as providing barrier guards over a mixer when it is in use to prevent strangulation or amputations).
Don’t forget to label equipment that young workers are not allowed to operate. You can download a free sticker and print it on sticker paper yourself to save money. The Department of Labor has a few on their website.
As always, feel free to call One Fat Frog to get your new and used equipment. Don’t forget to ask us about our Restaurant Resource Center!
• 2416 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32809 • 407 – 480 – 3409 •