Kitchen safety: it’s everyone’s business!
Working in a commercial kitchen is a lot more dangerous than many outsiders give it credit for. Not only is there the risk of burns or accidentally cutting oneself, but there’s also the risk of inadvertently infecting a patron or customer too.
As a restaurant manager or head chef, you’ll need to put a lot of thought into kitchen safety.
And that all starts with – you guessed it – safety signs.
While it’s a bit of a departure from our usual fare of hazchem signs, dangerous goods labels and emergency information panels, safety signage is just as important when it comes to food.
What kinds of signs are we talking about?
What signs will you find in a commercial kitchen?
Many workplaces have mandatory signs, outlining PPE and other equipment. In particular, we’re talking about signs mandating steel-toed boots, hard hats and gloves.
Kitchens are no different – the only point of difference is what the signs mandate!
For example, your kitchen might require:
- Hand sanitiser
- Non-slip shoes
How else are you to communicate these, than with signs?
Specifically, we’re talking about wet floor signs!
Anyone who’s ever worked in a kitchen knows that water and moisture has a habit of getting everywhere. As a result, working in a kitchen can be a bit like working in a slip N’ slide.
While your kitchen staff may be used to it, other workers such as delivery people and floor staff may not be.
Hence, the importance of good signage!
Wet floor signs aren’t the only caution signs you should think of:
- Machinery signs
- Stairway and step signs
- Cleaning signs
Your kitchen is off-limits to customers and guests – make sure they know it with a prohibition sign!
By keeping unauthorised guests out of your kitchen, you reduce the risk of an accident or injury occurring.
In addition to keeping unauthorised visitors out, you can also use these things to prohibit other potential kitchen hazards, such as:
Many commercial kitchens have certain processes that need to be followed. We’re talking about specific processes, safety practices and emergency policies unique to your kitchen.
You won’t find a premade sign with all this information – no, you need to go custom.
And that’s where Signsmart comes in.
In addition to our huge range of premade hazchem signs and other workplace safety signs, our team also produces custom safety signs.
We can work either from a template or start from scratch, working with you to create a truly unique sign that covers your needs. It all depends on your kitchen!
Fire and electrical hazards
Fire is crucial in most commercial kitchens – it’s also incredibly dangerous, and requires special fire equipment to be kept on premises so that any emergency can be responded to quickly, before it spreads.
Fire safety signs can quickly and easily alert your team to the locations of:
- Fire exits
Not only that, but it can also tell you what type of fire extinguisher your kitchen uses. For example, it will tell you whether it’s a foam, BCF or CO2 extinguisher, and what types of fires it’s suited for.
You didn’t think we’d ignore this, did you?
While this doesn’t apply to all kitchens, there are some out there that deal with potentially hazardous substances for deep cleaning. We’re talking about acids, bleach and other potent cleaning products.
As with all potentially hazardous substances, these need to be identified using signs.
Hazchem signs should be installed in the areas where these cleaning products are installed. That means on cupboards, storerooms and cabinets.
What’s more, containers with these products should be clearly labelled using appropriate dangerous goods labels and stickers.
Not just safety – why kitchens NEED safety signs
Adhere to food safety standards
Food contamination can be easily prevented by adhering to food safety standards, starting from proper food handling practices to disinfection and cleaning procedures.
Kitchen safety signs can help remind kitchen staff of proper food handling, storage, and cleaning procedures to prevent bacterial growth.
Not to mention, signs can also be used to encourage essential habits and hygiene, such as washing hands and disinfecting food preparation areas.
Proper use of kitchen equipment
Commercial kitchens are entirely different to home kitchens. In many cases, they’ll be home to kitchen equipment that’s considerably more powerful than what you might find at home.
This machinery needs to be treated with care – signs can help by ensuring that proper and safe technique is observed throughout.
This is especially important for kitchen equipment that uses blades and slicers, which can cause injury.
Protection from injury
Injuries and accidents inside the kitchen can happen at any time. This is why it is essential to keep the kitchen team alert and informed about potential on-site risks.
This way, you can avoid common kitchen injuries arising from:
- Slippery floors
- Liquid spills
- Sharp surfaces
- Hot items and liquids
- Uneven floors
Make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency
Each of your kitchen staff gets a briefing regarding what to do in the case of an emergency. Fortunately, they’ve never had to use that knowledge.
A side-effect of this is that your staff may eventually forget what to do without regular freshers.
The thing is, you’re busy, and so are they – who has time for refreshers?
That’s why it’s crucial that you ensure that all of these are enshrined and written down with safety signs!
In an emergency where each second counts, you won’t have time to consult a guidebook or look up the proper response. Your team needs to know what to do immediately – hence, the importance of good signage!
Keep your workplace safe
Contact Signsmart today for kitchen signs, hazchem signs and more !
While it may not feel like it, the kitchen is a workplace.
And just like any other workplace, you have a responsibility to ensure that everyone in it is safe at all times!
We’ll work with you to ensure that you’re given a comprehensive signage solution that covers all potential problems, as well as the proper responses to an emergency in the kitchen.
Thanks to our huge range of premade signs, we can ship signs out to any kitchen in Australia with minimal turnaround time- in some cases, we can get signs to you by the following day!