Safety Basics

Reading Guide

Preview Read the key concepts below. Write one or two sentences that predict what the section is about.

Content Vocabulary

• occupational • puncture back support

• flammable

• lockout/tagout

• emergency

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Identify possible culinary workplace safety issues.

• Explain fire safety equipment and emergency procedures.

• Describe first aid measures for burns, wounds, and choking.

Main Idea

Burns and injuries can easily occur in a foodservice workplace. Establish fire safety procedures and know first aid measures to prevent or minimize damage.

Graphic Organizer

As you read, you will discover information about four types of kitchen protective gear. Use a web diagram like the one shown to list them.

• abrasion

• laceration

• avulsion wound

• Heimlich maneuver

• cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

• general safety audit

Figurine Foot

English Language Arts NCTE 7 Conduct research and gather, evaluate, and synthesize data to communicate discoveries.

Academic Vocabulary

• document routine

What Bears Eat Graphic Organizer

Graphic Organizer

Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.

t * Mathematics

NCTM Measurement

Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.


NSESB Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NSES National Science Education

Standards NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Safe Working Conditions

Accidents can easily occur in a busy kitchen. The government has written laws and codes to help protect workers on the job. But it is the personal responsibility of each worker to practice safety in the kitchen at all times. Safety is an ongoing process.

Many foodservice workplace accidents can be prevented. Government agencies help. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) helps keep the workplace safe by writing workplace safety and health standards. Employers must post OSHA standards in their facilities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also plays a role in promoting workplace safety. The EPA requires foodservice operations to track how they handle and dispose of hazardous materials such as cleaning products and pesticides.

Personal Protective Clothing

Personal protective clothing, such as uniforms, aprons, and gloves, can help you practice safety in the workplace.


Aprons are an important piece of protective clothing. Use these apron guidelines:

• Make sure aprons are clean. Bacteria can quickly grow on dirty aprons.

• Change aprons when yours gets dirty.

• Always remove your apron if you leave the food preparation area.

• Always remove your apron to take out the garbage.


Gloves should be worn to protect your hands from injury. Gloves also help protect against food contamination by bacteria and physical hazards.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you put on gloves. Follow a proper hand-washing routine, or regular set of actions, to make sure hands are completely clean.

The type of gloves you should wear depends on the task you need to do. For example, you should use heavy-duty plastic gloves to clean pots. Gloves are available in light, medium, and heavy weights. Workers with latex allergies may try nitrile ('nl-trsi) latex-free gloves.

Foodservice gloves are for a single use only. For example, the gloves you wear to crack and mix eggs should not be reused to make a sandwich. You should change your gloves when they become soiled or torn, after at least every four hours of single-use, and immediately after you handle any raw food.


Shoes are also a form of protective clothing. Shoes should be sturdy and have slip-resistant soles for safety. All shoes must have closed toes.

Back Braces

Foodservice workers may wear a special back brace to help them lift heavy items. An occupational back support is a type of back brace with suspenders. It is designed to support the lower back while lifting.

Personal Injuries

Foodservice workers are responsible to help prevent slips and falls, cuts, burns and scalds, and other personal injuries in the kitchen. For example, call out, "Hot cart coming through!" when you transport large pots full of hot liquids. This can warn others in the kitchen and help prevent accidents.

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are common work-related injuries. Yet most slips and falls can be avoided.

Prevent Injury Follow these rules to help prevent slips and falls in the kitchen: • Walk, never run, in the kitchen.

Burn Protection Always use dry pot holders or oven mitts to handle hot items. Why would you not want to use moist pot holders or oven mitts to handle hot items?

m Wipe up spills immediately. Grease on a floor can cause you to slip or could cause equipment to slide.

• Use slip-resistant floor mats and make sure floors are in good repair.

• Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles. Never wear open-toed shoes.

• Use safe ladders or stools to reach high shelves. Never stand on a chair or a box.

• Always close cabinet drawers and doors.

• Ask for help or use a cart to move heavy objects.

• Keep traffic paths, especially around exits, aisles, and stairs, clutter free at all times. Floors that are still wet from cleaning can be dangerous. Many slips and falls happen on wet floors because they are slick with water and cleaning products. Always post appropriate warning signs for safety.


There are many sharp tools in a commercial kitchen. This means the risk of being cut in a commercial kitchen is high.

Sharp Tool Safety Guidelines Use these guidelines when you work with sharp tools to lower the risk of injury:

• Always use knives for their intended purpose only. Never use them to open plastic wrap or boxes, for example.

• Always cut away from your body, not toward your body. Cutting toward your body may cause an accident if your hand slips.

• Always carry a knife down at your side with the blade tip pointed toward the floor and the sharp edge facing behind you.

Safety Check

Although bleach and ammonia are both powerful cleaners, they should never be mixed. Mixing cleaners with these ingredients can cause chemical reactions that can create toxic, and even explosive, gasses.

CRITICAL THINKING What can you do to ensure that bleach and ammonia cleaners are never mixed?

• Look where you place your hands when you reach for a knife.

• Never wave your hands while holding a knife.

• If you drop a knife, do not try to grab for it as it falls. Pick up the knife after it falls to the table or floor.

• Hold knives with a firm grip on the handle when you use them or carry them.

• Never leave a knife handle hanging over the edge of a work surface.

• Keep knife handles and hands dry when you use knives.

• Keep knives sharp. Dull knives require you to apply more pressure. This may cause your hand to slip.

• Use a cutting board. Cutting on a regular counter surface could cause your hand to slip. It could also damage the knife.

• Wear protective gloves and cuff guards to clean commercial slicers.

• Wash sharp tools separately from other tools and dishes. Never leave knives soaking in a sink.

• Throw away broken knives or knives with loose blades.

• Store knives in a knife kit or a knife rack.

Burns and Scalds

Commercial kitchens have many types of heat-producing equipment. There also are many different ways a foodservice worker can get burned.

Prevent Burns You can keep burns from happening. These safety tips can help keep you safe when you work in a professional kitchen:

• Tilt pot lids away from your body to let the steam escape.

• Use dry pot holders or oven mitts. Wet cloth forms scalding steam when it touches hot pots and pans.

• Turn pot and pan handles away from the front of the range.

• Step aside when you open an oven door to avoid the rush of heat.

• Get help to move large hot containers. This also can save strain on your back.

• Follow manufacturer's directions to operate hot beverage machines. Read the instruction manual before operating them.

• Be careful when you filter or change the oil in fryers. Always wear gloves and aprons for protection.

• Always wear appropriate safety clothing when you use chemicals for cleaning. Some of these chemicals can cause burns.

• Keep oven doors closed. This will also help food cook more quickly and evenly.

• Clean ovens when they have cooled. Otherwise, you may burn yourself.

• Keep cooking areas, vent hoods, and other surfaces grease free to prevent fires.

• Always keep paper, plastic, and other flammable materials away from hot cooking areas to prevent fires. Flammable materials are those that are quick to burn.

• Unplug electrical appliances with frayed cords to prevent burns and electrical shocks. Inform your supervisor of the problem immediately

Back Injuries and Strains

Back injuries from improper lifting and bending are one of the most common types of workplace injuries. Many back injuries could be prevented if employees take the proper precautions. For example, pushing and pulling puts less strain on your back than lifting.

Safety Check

✓ Use Ladders Safely

Follow these guidelines to use a ladder safely:

• Only one person should use a ladder at one time.

• Always face the ladder. Do not stand on the top step. Climb only on the step side.

• Stay centered on the ladder so you do not tip over to the side.

• Do not carry objects that could make you lose your balance.

CRITICAL THINKING What do you think could happen if you carried a large box up a ladder?

Heavy Lifting Before lifting a heavy object, ask yourself these questions:

• Can I lift this object by myself?

• Is the object too heavy or too awkward to lift easily?

• Do I need help to move or lift the object?

• Is the path I must take free of clutter? Follow these steps to safely lift heavy objects:

1. Bend at your knees.

2. Keep your back straight.

3. Keep your feet close to the object.

4. Center your body over the load.

5. Lift straight up and do not jerk your body.

6. Do not twist your body as you pick up or move the object.

7. Set the load down slowly. Keep your back straight.

Lifting tools can also be helpful. Use rollers under an object. A pulley or lever can help you move heavy objects more easily.

Kitchen Equipment Safety

Each kitchen is different in its design and the equipment used. You should be familiar with each piece of equipment before you operate it. If a piece of equipment is malfunctioning, be sure to follow the lockout/tagout procedure. Lockout/tagout means that all necessary switches on malfunctioning electrical equipment are tagged and locked from use.

Be familiar with equipment safety features, such as guards and safety devices. For example, a slicer has a hand guard that must be in place to operate the machine.

Cleaning and Maintenance

You will also need to clean and maintain equipment. Always follow these safety measures when you clean kitchen equipment:

• Turn all switches to the off position.

• Unplug the equipment.

• Follow the manufacturer's instructions and the food establishment's directions for cleaning.

\ Identify What type of shoes should you wear to work in a kitchen?

Using The Correct Equipment Cookery
^J Avoid Back Injuries If you decide to lift an object by yourself, it is important to use the correct lifting technique. How is this employee using a correct lifting technique?

Fire Safety

Fires in the workplace cause substantial property and equipment damage each year. They also cause injuries, and even death. The flames and high heat sources used in foodservice workplaces can cause fires. A burn can be a very serious injury. Burns can be prevented by preventing fires. Fires are classified according to the type of material that catches fire. (See Figure 1.1 on page 8.)

Fire Prevention

You can prevent and control fires. Practice good work habits and be prepared for emergencies. Keep the workplace clean, especially of built-up grease.

Here are some other tips to prevent fires and help keep your workplace safe:

• Be sure ashtray contents are completely out before you empty them into the trash.

• Be careful around gas appliances. Built-up gasses can explode if a match is lit nearby.

^ J FIGURE 1.1 Fire Extinguisher Types

Fire Safety The universal picture symbols shown here are found on fire extinguisher labels. What information do these symbols tell you?

Class of Fire ; Type of Flammable Material j Type of Fire Extinguisher to Use

Class A

Class A

Class B

Class C

Class C

Class D

Class K

Wood, paper, cloth, plastic

Grease, oil, chemicals

Electrical cords, switches, wiring

Combustible switches, wiring, metals, iron

Fires in cooking appliances involving combustible vegetable or animal oils and fats

Class A Class A:B

Class A:B Class A:B:C

Class A:C Class B:C

Class D Class K


• Store oily rags in closed metal containers so they do not start a fire.

• Make sure all smoke alarms work properly.

• Store flammable materials away from heat sources.

• Keep water away from electrical outlets.

• Clean the range and oven hoods and filters regularly to remove grease that can catch on fire.

• Keep all exits unlocked and accessible from the inside. Exits should also be clearly marked.

Fire Protection Equipment

Prevention is your best course of action when it comes to fires. But even with the right preventive steps, fires can still happen in a professional kitchen. It is essential to have the proper fire protection equipment on hand at all times.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are the most common type of fire protection equipment used in foodservice operations. The type, number, and location of fire extinguishers that are needed can vary. A fire extinguisher should be located within each work area.

Fire extinguishers use several types of chemicals to fight different kinds of fires. To fight a fire properly, you must use the right type, or class, of extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers are inspected and tagged on a regular basis. To use a fire extinguisher properly, hold the extinguisher upright and remove the safety pin. Point the nozzle at the bottom of the fire and push down the handle.

Hood and Sprinkler Systems

A hood system that is well vented can help remove excess smoke, heat, and vapors. Make sure hoods are cleaned regularly and are working properly. If your kitchen has a sprinkler system, keep products and supplies at the regulated distance from the sprinkler equipment.

Fire Emergency Procedures

Every foodservice business has fire emergency procedures. Employees must be familiar with these procedures. Employers must post fire exit signs in plain view above exits. Employees should know where to meet outside the business for a head count in case of a fire. They should also know how to direct customers out of the building.

It is the foodservice staff's responsibility to keep customers calm during emergencies. If you discover a fire, call the fire department right away, even if the fire is small. Fires can grow large very quickly. Then, communicate clearly and help customers and coworkers leave the building quickly and calmly

I Explain What should you do if you discover a fire in the workplace?

Emergency Procedures

Fires are not the only emergencies that can happen in a kitchen. An emergency is a potentially life-threatening situation that usually occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. You must know how to respond and who to contact during an emergency.

Post the telephone numbers of emergency services, such as poison control and the health department, near the phone. You should also learn basic first aid and life-saving techniques. It is your responsibility to know your employer's emergency policies.

First Aid

The immediate response to an emergency often involves first aid. First aid involves assisting an injured person until professional medical help can be provided. The American Red Cross offers courses that teach hands-on information about first aid in the workplace.

Extinguish a Grease Fire

The best way to extinguish an oil or grease fire is to use sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Sodium bicarbonate is also called baking soda. When it is heated, baking soda breaks down and forms carbon dioxide gas (CO2), which smothers the fire.


Perform research to find out why carbon dioxide gas smothers a grease or oil fire. You can perform your research at the library or interview a firefighter at your local fire department.


Create a poster to explain why carbon dioxide gas smothers a grease or oil fire, based on your research. Keep track of the sources you use, and turn them in to your teacher.

NSES B Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

NSES B Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

^^ Fire Protection This professional kitchen has several pieces of fire protection equipment. How might the sprinkler system be used?

I 1FIGURE 1.2 Types of Burns

Bad Burns There are three types of burns, each one more severe than the last. How would you treat a first-degree burn?

Types of Burns

First-Degree Burns

Second-Degree Burns

Third-Degree Burns

Characteristics of Burns

The skin becomes red, sensitive, and sometimes swollen. These are the least severe of all burns.

These burns cause deeper, painful damage, and blisters form on the skin. The blisters ooze and are painful.

The skin may be white and soft or black, charred, and leathery. Sometimes third-degree burns are not painful because the nerves in the skin have been destroyed. These are the worst kinds of burns. Third-degree burns must be treated immediately at a hospital.

Emergency Action Tips

These general action tips should be followed during an emergency. They do not replace the need to be trained in first aid!

• Check the scene and stay calm.

• Check the victim. Keep him or her comfortable and calm.

• Call the local emergency number for professional medical help.

• Use proper first aid techniques.

• Keep people who are not needed away from the victim.

• Complete an accident report. Write the victim's name, the date and time of the accident, the type of injury or illness, the treatment, and when help arrived.

First Aid for Burns

Any type of burn requires immediate treatment. (See Figure 1.2.) If you or someone in the workplace is burned, call your local emergency number for medical assistance.

Follow these general guidelines for minor burns until help arrives:

• Remove the source of the heat.

• Cool the burned skin to stop the burning. Apply cold water on the affected area for at least five minutes. Use water from a faucet or soaked towels. Do not use ice or ice water. This can cause damage to the skin.

• Never apply ointments, sprays, antiseptics, or remedies to the burned skin unless instructed to do so by a medical professional.

• Bandage the burn as directed in your first aid manual.

^ J Wound Care Apply pressure to a wound to stop any bleeding. What other steps should be taken to treat a minor wound?

^ J Wound Care Apply pressure to a wound to stop any bleeding. What other steps should be taken to treat a minor wound?

• Minimize the risk of shock. Shock is a serious medical condition in which not enough oxygen reaches tissues. Elevate the victim's feet over his or her head. Keep the victim from getting chilled or overheated. Have the victim rest.

First Aid for Wounds

There are four types of open wounds:

• An abrasion is a scrape or minor cut. A rug burn is an abrasion.

• A laceration (Ja-ss-'ra-shsn) is a cut or tear in the skin that can be quite deep. A knife wound is a type of laceration.

• An avulsion (^-'vsi-shsn) happens when a portion of the skin is partially or completely torn off. A severed finger is an avulsion.

• A puncture wound happens when the skin is pierced with a pointed object, such as an ice pick, making a deep hole in the skin. Puncture wounds can be deep. Treat Minor Wounds Follow these guidelines to treat a person with a minor cut.

• Wear disposable gloves to protect yourself and the victim from infection.

• Clean the cut with soap water.

• Place sterile gauze over the cut.

• Apply direct pressure over the sterile gauze or bandage to stop any bleeding.

• If bleeding does not stop, raise the limb above the heart.

Treat Serious Wounds Call for emergency help. Then, follow these guidelines:

• Wear disposable gloves to protect yourself and the victim from infection.

• Control the bleeding by applying pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth towel. Do not waste time by washing the wound first. Elevate the area while applying pressure.

• Cover the wound with clean bandages.

• Wash your hands thoroughly after emergency help has arrived.

First Aid for Choking

Choking is often caused by food that blocks a person's airway. This will cause difficulty speaking and breathing.

The Heimlich maneuver is a series of thrusts to the abdomen that can help dislodge something that is stuck in a person's airway. You should be formally trained to use the Heimlich maneuver. Use it only on someone who is conscious and choking. You can even use it on yourself. Never perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is pregnant. This could harm the baby.

The basic Heimlich maneuver steps are:

1. Stand behind the victim. Wrap your arms around the victim's waist. Locate the victim's navel.

2. Make a fist with one hand. Place the thumb side of your fist against the middle of the abdomen just above the navel and below the bottom of the breast bone.

3. Place your other hand on top of your fist.

4. Press your hands to the victim's abdomen. Use inward and upward thrusts.

5. Repeat this motion as many times as it takes to dislodge the object or food.

Heimlich Maneuver
Heimlich Maneuver The Heimlich maneuver can be performed on a choking, conscious adult. When would you not perform the Heimlich maneuver?

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation

(,kar-de-o-'pul-m9-ner-e ri-,s9-s9-'ta-sh9n), is emergency care that is performed on people who are unresponsive. This includes those who are unconscious because of choking, cardiac arrest, stroke, or heart attack.

The sooner CPR is performed, the greater the victim's chance of survival. CPR helps keep oxygen flowing to the brain and heart. This is done until advanced care can have a chance to restore normal heart function. Contact your local chapter of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross for training and information on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation correctly.

Reports and Audits

As soon as possible after an emergency is over, you should document, or write down, the details of the emergency. Detailed emergency reports can help prevent future emergencies. They also can help limit a restaurant's liability in the event of an accident. Make sure that the information in the report is accurate. Your supervisor may want to discuss the information with you.

A general safety audit is a review and inspection of all safety procedures and equipment. The audit should be managed by foodservice employers, but carried out by foodservice workers. It should be performed at least once a year. Let a supervisor know if you find any of the following:

• Missing or low-charge fire extinguishers

• Blocked hallways or exits

• Missing safety information

• Frayed electrical cords often should a general safety audit be performed?

section 1.1 ^imnrnmt

Review Key Concepts

1. Identify four types of personal injuries that foodservice workers must help prevent.

2. Explain how to use a fire extinguisher properly.

3. Describe the three types of burns.

Practice Culinary Academics ^^ English Language Arts

4. Choose one of the common sources of injury in the kitchen. Conduct research about the topic. Find an example of a situation where someone was injured in a professional kitchen setting. Write a short report to explain the injury, the cause of the injury, the consequences of the injury, and how the injury might have been prevented. Include your sources in your report, and turn them in to your teacher.

NCTE 7 Conduct research and gather, evaluate, and synthesize data to communicate discoveries.

^^ Mathematics

5. Hot water can be dangerous even before it begins to boil. A two-second exposure to water at a temperature of 150°F can cause a burn. What is this temperature in degrees Celsius? ^^^^^^^^ Converting Temperatures In the metric system, temperatures are measured in degrees Celsius. To convert temperatures from Fahrenheit (F) to Celsius (C), use this equation: C = (F - 32) x 5/9.

Starting Hint To convert 150°F into a Celsius temperature, first subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit amount. Multiply the result by the fraction 5/9. To do so, first multiply the result by 5, then divide that product by 9.

NCTM Measurement Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.

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