Controlling Kitchen Electrical Hazards

As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.

Electric shock is a frequent cause of kitchen injuries. Electricity in combination with wet floors, wet food preparation surfaces and dishwashing equipment can pose a serious hazard.

The following hazards may cause electric shock:

  • Damaged or worn electrical cords
  • Equipment and appliances with improper or faulty wiring
  • Using a cloth for cleaning that is dripping wet near sources of electricity

To Prevent an Electric Shock, You Should:

  1. Do not “flip” the circuit breaker as an On and Off switch. This can cause damage to the breaker.
  2. Make sure all employees know how to turn off the power in an emergency.
  3. Always use dry hands when handling cords or plugs.
  4. Pull on the plug, not the cord, to disconnect it from the outlet.
  5. If the cord is wet or you are standing in water, remove the cord from the water. Do not plug it in.
  6. Don’t run cords across walkways. This can damage the cord.
  7. Remind staff to report any possible problems.
  8. Avoid handling a cord or plug that has exposed wiring; a damaged cord should be discarded. Only handle the insulated part of a plug or cord.
  9. If in doubt, have a licensed electrician evaluate the kitchen wiring, outlets, and switches to verify the system is appropriate for wet environments.
  10. In wet environments, use only cords with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s).

Click here for a helpful handout on controlling kitchen electrical hazards to share with your employees.

Our risk control team is available to help facilitate your safety and health efforts. Learn more about this collaborative and consultative partnership, as well as the exclusive safety resources developed to keep your workplace safe and profitable.

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