The successful handling of safety and security in organizations goes a long way to maximizing the profit and ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in the organization. Safety and security are subjects of importance to the entrepreneur.
One of the main duties of management in any business is the protection of the company’s assets against various types of losses, including fire, theft, vandalism, embezzlement, and fraud. Furthermore, an employer has both a legal and moral obligation to protect employees against injuries from unsafe working conditions.
In the hospitality industry (e.g., hotel), there is an ongoing concern for the safety of guests and for the security of their property.
The two primary areas in which the operator must be trained and knowledgeable are prevention and contingency planning. The entrepreneur’s success in his organization hinges squarely on how successful he is in his handling of safety and security in his organization. He is therefore advised to take safety and security very serious for his organizational success.
Therefore, the subject of safety and security are important areas for the food and beverage entrepreneur to study and know.
In this article, we take food and beverage entrepreneur as our case study in treating this article-safety and security.
When an injury occurs, the most important rule is to avoid panic. It is always better to have at least one employee or member of management trained in first aid.
The entrepreneur should be prepared to handle emergencies in the following ways:
- Keep a fully equipped and approved first aid kit on the premises and available for use. It won’t do any good if it’s locked in the manager’s desk and he’s on his way off.
- Know how to treat shock, which can result in more serious manage than the injury itself. Apply first aid as required to an accident victim or critically ill guest or employee.
- Keep the phone number of ambulance, police, fire, and hospital posted next to every telephone in the operation.
- Know the location of the nearest hospital. Know the quickest route to that hospital.
Accident and Prevention
The prevention of accidents involving either employees or guests requires the continual training of the former and the removal of all potential hazards to both groups. A comprehensive self-inspection programme is an essential part of the food service manager’s daily routine.
This programme, to be effective, should include:
(i) Inspection of equipment and physical facilities throughout the operation.
(ii) A review of the physical fitness of employees to perform their duties safely.
(iii) A review of actual operating practices of employees to assure that equipment is being operated safely and that work practices are performed without hazard.
The food service industry, although relatively safe compared to some heavy construction and manufacturing industries, involve a number of hazards to employees that result in frequent injury.
Employee’s accidents can be avoided in large measure by following the four basic principles of accident prevention.
- Instruction of all employees in these rules
- Enforcement of the rules
- Correction of physical hazards
- Formulation of rules
Usually, all employee accidents are caused either by physical hazards in the food service operation or by a violation of basic safety rules by the employees. Instruction and enforcement of these rules is a continuous responsibility of management in the day-to-day conduct of the business.
Contributing to such injuries are the relatively high turnover rate of employees and the rushed conditions associated with preparing and serving foods to order.
The principal employee accidents are categorized as follows:
Cooking involves high temperatures and burns are the natural result of carelessness in such situations. Training, enforcement of rules, and common sense play an important role in avoiding potentially serious burns in the foodservice operation.
These basic rules are as follows:
- Provide employees with the proper clothes and pads to protect their hands in picking up hotpots, pans, and utensils. Instruct employees to use dry towels for potholders, as wet cloths can result in steam burns. Instruct cooks to assume that pots containing food are hot.
- Do not allow handles from pans, utensils, or stockpots to project out into walling aisles or off the range.
- Insist that cooking personnel be dressed properly in a long sleeved heavy jacket that protects the employee from hot spills and from range heat, and in proper shoes.
- Provide the pot-washing area with a cool-down rack on which hot pots can cool before being handled by the pot washer. Instruct the cooks to warn the hot pot washer when placing hot equipment in his area for washing.
- Maintain cooking equipment in good condition. Discard or repair pots and pans with weak or broken handles. Assure that hot tops, broilers, fryers, steamers and all other equipment are in good operating condition before being used. Do not allow untrained personnel to use this equipment.
- Instruct employees in the proper handling of hot oils when filtering or changing fryer fats.
- Provide proper equipment for handling disposable convenience food pans, as these are often weak and require special handling.
- Use caution in opening drums containing compounds. These occasionally are under pressure and can cause burns or eye injuries. Provide employees who regularly work with caustic agents with heavy-duty rubber gloves.
- Install a splash guard on slim-jacked kettles and other pieces of equipment where hot liquid could splash when being implied.
- Make sure that dish room employees are properly trained in cleaning and operations of dishwashing equipment to avoid burns for heating elements, rinse water, and detergent compounds.
Preparation of food normally requires sharp instruments that can cause severe injuries if improperly used. Almost all employee accidents involving cuts can be traced to improper training or carelessness. The basic rules that guide the use of sharp tools are very important.
The rules are:
- Store knives properly when they are not in use. Preferably, this storage should be in the vertical position, handle up, in a slotted cabinet, magnetic knife holder, or similar device.
- Transfer food from open cans with a sharp edge into other containers.
- Remove broken glass immediately the following breakage.
- Remove or cover with protective materials sharp edges on equipment, fixtures, and furniture.
- Keep knives sharp. A dull knife is more likely to slip and cut the person using it than a very sharp knife. Employees should be trained in the proper method of sharpening knives and the safe use of sharpening instruments.
- Never attempt to catch a dropped knife. As simple as this rule sounds, such attempts constitute a frequent cause of cutting injuries.
- Never place a knife in a sink to be washed. Never place a knife in a drawer with other tools. Never place towels, boxes, or other items on top of a knife.
3. Machine Injuries
A great number of very serious injuries in the service industry are caused by improper use of machinery. Almost all processing machinery is potentially dangerous since it is designed to slice, chop, saw, mix or heat. All these actions can cause injury to the operator of the machine if he is careless, improperly trained, or if safety devices are ignored.
The importance of continuous and thorough training in the use of machinery cannot be overemphasized. Often manufacturers and distributors of such equipment are more than willing to assist the entrepreneur in training employees in proper and safe use. Complete training of employees in operation, cleaning, and movement from place to place, and maintenance of machinery is essential to save them from injury.
- Do not allow employers to wear loose clothing, jewelry, long hair, or anything else that could possibly get caught in a piece of equipment. Rings, necklaces, scarves, braids and the like are extremely dangerous around cutters, mixers, guides, and the like.
- Never use hands or fingers to guide items into slicer, grinder, chopper, or other similar equipment. Use tampers, paddles, and other tools recommended by the manufacturer.
- Post all instructions and safety rules for each piece of machinery next to the machine. Some operators have these instructions sealed in plastic and mounted on the machinery or near it.
- Never let an employee operate, clean, move, or repair any place of machinery on which he has not been trained and checked out.
- Do not attempt to remove (except for cleaning) or otherwise disturb safely devices installed by the manufacturer for the protection of the employee. Never let an employee operate any machinery without all guards in place.
Never clean a piece of electrically operated machinery such as a slicer, buffalo chopper, guider, saw, vertical cutter, or mixer unless the machine is unplugged or a circuit breaker is opened. The same rule pertains to maintenance and repair.
4. Slips and Falls
Good planning and the procedures outlined below can greatly reduce falls.
- Keep stairs and steps in good condition. Stairs must be dry, free from obstacles, well-lighted, and in good repair. Use nonskid materials on stairs and steps.
- Provide ladders for reaching shelves and for other similar purposes. Do not allow standing on boxes, equipment, or on shelving. Maintain the ladder in good condition with nonskid feet and steps.
- Keep docks, walkways, driveways, and outside stairs dry, free and clear of obstacles, well lit and in good repair.
- Clean and dry floors in walk-in coolers and freezers regularly to avoid the buildup of moisture, ice, or other slippery congestion.
- Planning and design the layout to avoid congestion, cross-traffic, and blind spots. Floors should be of a material that allows proper cleaning and drainage and inhibits skids.
- Avoid congestion in aisles caused by boxes, trash containers, food equipment, and other tripping hazards.
- Establish a regular schedule of floor washing and enforce it. Mop up all spills immediately. When mopping floors, rope off or block the wet area until dry. Post “Wet Floor-Caution” Avoid the use of cleaning and polishing materials that cause slippery conditions.
- Forbid running, rushing while carrying, or any type of horseplay.
- Maintain flooring materials in a safe condition at all times. Replace broken or cracked titles. Repair tears in carpeting immediately. Replace broken duckboards. Remove any protrusions or similar tripping hazards.
5. Lifting Strains
The key to prevention of this type of injury is common sense and are easy to carry out.
Employees should be trained to avoid lifting things that are too heavy for them to manage.
Some basic rules should be applied:
- Instruct cooks to consider what will happen to a stockpot after it is full. Will it have to be moved before it is emptied? If so, use a smaller size pot and cook in batches.
- Keep floors dry and clean. Many lifting strains and back injuries are caused by near falls when an employee carrying something slips on a wet floor but does not actually fall.
- Don’t put heavy goods on high shelves in the storeroom. Save these shelves for light paper goods or similar items.
- Do not assign lifting duties to employees who are physically unable to perform such tasks.
- Provide the proper materials handling equipment for the movement of goods. These include carts, dollies, and bins of the proper configuration, with the proper casters.
- Do not buy raw materials in packages that are too bulky or too heavy for the employees to handle; even if a cost saving is involved. One-hundred kilogram (100kg) sacks of sugar are for those who can lift them for dumping into a bin but 25kg bags cause a lot of fewer strains. It doesn’t take many days of lost time to pay for the difference in price.
- Instruct waitresses and busboys, not to overload trays and bus pans. Two safe trips to the kitchen are better than one trip to the hospital.
Instruct employees to ask for help if they need it. Four hands are better than two in lifting almost anything.
Don’t forget to share this post!