The much-loved Lodge kitchen could pose many hidden risks if your Lodge lacks the proper tools. Unsafe kitchens are more likely to result in serious injuries, which can result in costly claims and litigation.
These risks can be greatly reduced by supplying your Lodge’s kitchen with the right equipment, much of which is affordable and readily available.
Here is a list of tools and tips that can help your Lodge establish better kitchen safety:
1. Fire extinguishers
Make sure your Lodge has at least one Class K fire extinguisher to handle cooktop fires. Unlike common ABC Class extinguishers, these can disperse a wet agent that quickly cools hot metal surfaces and turns burning oil and grease into harmless soap in a process called saponification. It’s easy to clean up and doesn’t contaminate other equipment in the kitchen.
2. Fire suppression systems
According to the National Restaurant Association, 57% of restaurant fires involve cooking equipment. Cooktop fires easily get out of hand if flames get drawn up into vent hoods. This is one reason an integrated fire suppression system can be invaluable. Automatic versions can shut off power and gas to burners and dispense a Class K chemical only where needed.
3. Metal lids
At the less-technical end of fire suppression tools, you should ensure the Lodge kitchen has lids for all pots and pans. Grease fires need oxygen and heat to burn. A metal lid won’t shatter like glass and can quickly smother the flames. Remember to turn off the heat as you cover the pan.
4. Kitchen carts
A simple kitchen utility or serving cart can be used to help move large or awkwardly shaped pots as well as hot foods and drinks around the kitchen and dining room, greatly reducing the risk of someone getting splashed with scalding coffee or boiling water.
5. Knife sharpeners
Did you know a sharp knife is a safer knife? The performance of a sharpened knife is predictable and offers more control when cutting.
6. Knife storage
You and others in the kitchen can avoid getting nicked by keeping knives in purpose-built holders, such as sturdy sheaths, trays or woodblocks.
7. Cutting boards
A cutting board that doesn’t wobble or slide is an ideal cutting surface and can help reduce accidents.
8. Auxiliary cutting tools
Make sure everyone at the Lodge has what tools they need to do the job. Using a kitchen knife to open a can or strip electrical wires is an accident waiting to happen.
9. Aprons and oven mitts
Protective equipment like aprons and oven mitts can effectively prevent many types of burn injuries. Just be sure to store these flammable supplies away from heat and flames.
10. Floor cleaning supplies
The National Safety Council estimates there are more than 25,000 slip and fall incidents in commercial kitchens each year. These accidents are made more dangerous by the proximity of open flames, fryer vats and hot stoves. Most of the costly slip and fall accident claims in commercial kitchens are due to floor spills of liquids or oil. Ensure your Lodge is committed to quickly cleaning up spills.
The right tools can help your Lodge establish better kitchen safety, benefiting all your members, guests and volunteers. Plus, being safe pays. OSHA says every dollar spent on kitchen safety programs can reduce associated injury expenses by as much as 600%.