I think those are the things that in the kitchen’s important to reinforce with younger people, is just slow down. You know, that extra four seconds getting from the fridge to your station is not going to make that much of a difference. Always put up warning signs on wet floors. Spills should be mopped as soon as possible, and all floors should be cleaned regularly, according to a schedule. If you don’t take the time to clean up the spill, the things that could happen from that spill become much, much bigger than the minute or two minutes it’s going to take you to get a wet floor sign down, get a towel, mop, whatever it happens to be.
Call someone else to come and give you a hand with the situation. Kitchen staff should wear well-fitting, non-slip footwear. Everybody that’s new to the kitchen should have, as part of the uniform, shoes that have oil-resistant anti-skid. It’s not just slipping and falling that’s going to hurt you in a kitchen. It’s the things that you’re carrying or the things that are around you that are going to hurt even more. A clean kitchen, where you aren’t likely to trip over something, or misplace something, or find a sharp object under a haphazardly placed item, is a much safer kitchen to work in.
One thing we always really focus is do one job, finish it, and then clean up and then set up for the next task. Keep walkways and aisles clear of boxes and other clutter. Blind corners are a serious hazard in kitchens. Always announce your presence as you approach one. We call “corner” before we round blind corners no matter if we are carrying or not carrying anything, or if we’re pushing a cart or not. It’s like a double safety thing because if you’re not looking at the mirror at least you can hear.
Avoid standing in front of swinging doors and doorways. In a small kitchen, it’s up to you as the chef, or as the people that are putting the kitchen together, to make sure that the workflow is structured in such a way that you don’t have a lot of places to go. Due to changes in temperature, areas around and inside walk-in freezers can become wet and slippery from condensation.
Taking the time to do things safely and properly; if you’re going to try and speed things up, that’s when I typically hurt myself. I think most people are the same way. Remember, no matter how busy you are, don’t run while working in a kitchen. When carrying large items, always make sure you can see where you’re going.
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