Preventing Cuts and Burns

If you cut yourself: Despite your best efforts, you may cut yourself. If you do, follow these first-aid steps and report the cut to your supervisor.

  • Apply pressure to help stop bleeding.
  • After bleeding has stopped, clean the cut with warm water and soap.
  • Cover the cut with a clean bandage or gauze.
  • Get medical help if you can’t stop the bleeding, the cut is deep, or you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years.

If You Burn Yourself: If you burn yourself, take these first-aid steps and be sure to tell your supervisor about the injury.

  • Reduce swelling with plenty of cool water, keep the burned area under cool-running water, soak it in cool water or cover it with a wet cloth (and keep the cloth cool by adding more water).
  • Cover the area with gauze.
  • Don’t put butter, oil, or ointment on the burn.
  • Get medical attention if the burn covers a large area, an ear or eye is burned, there are signs of infection, or you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years.
  • While the burn is healing, don’t break blisters or pull skin off.

Move With Caution To Protect Yourself

To Prevent Cuts: You can take two steps to help prevent cuts: use equipment only as it is meant to be used. Practice what you’ve learned about using equipment safely. These steps are important when working with equipment with sharp parts, such as slicers and knives.

Put guards in place: If the equipment has guards, make sure they are in place before you use it. Some guards, such as those on large mixers, may keep flying objects from hitting you. Guards such as those on slicers may prevent you from cutting your hand.

Use Knives Correctly: Slicing, dicing, chopping. These tasks require precise moves, usually when you’re in a hurry. Don’t forget to follow these safety tips.

  • Use the right knife for the task. A small, wobbly knife can easily slip and cut you.
  • Keep knives sharp. A sharp knife cuts the food, not you.
  • Wash your hands and knife handles often to keep grease off them. Grease can make a knife slippery.
  • Wear a cut-resistant glove on the hand not holding the knife.

To Prevent Burns: You already know what you need to do to prevent burns. Put what you know into practice. Remember the times when you’re most likely to be burned. Do all you can to prevent hot liquid from splashing.

Remember Burn Threats: Because you’re working so quickly around so many people and so much equipment, it’s easy to get burned. Take a minute at the start of each shift to remember the likely hazards.

Prevent Splashes: Prevent splashes by following these steps:

  • Let others know when you’re coming through doors or around corners.
  • Don’t’ overload trays or overfill dishes or containers.
  • Use dry, long mitts when removing large items from a stove or oven.

Follow Safety “Rules”:  When it comes to safety, rules are not “made to be broken.” Follow these rules all the time to prevent cuts and burns.

  • Turn off, unplug, and cool equipment before you clean or fix it.
  • Move slowly. The few seconds it takes can save future pain and trouble.
  • Keep your hair back. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling jeweler. It can get caught in equipment.
  • Make sure equipment finishes its cycle before you touch it. For instance, don’t change a filter until the coffee is finished brewing.

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