Preventing Burns in the Restaurant Industry

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Preventing Burns in the Restaurant Industry

From stoves and fryers to candlelit tables and heat lamps, there are many ways employees and customers alike can burn themselves in a restaurant. Restaurant employees work with all kinds of warm/hot equipment, so it is no surprise that they may pick up minor burns throughout their employment. Burn injuries can be prevented and as the owner, it is your job make sure that your restaurant is a safe place to conduct business.

There are 3 types of burns. These are:

  • First Degree Burns: Redness and Swelling on outermost layers of skin
  • Second Degree Burns: Redness, Swelling, and Blistering that may extend to deeper layers of skin
  • Third Degree Burns: Destroys entire depth of the skin and can also damage fat, muscle, organs, and even bone. This type of burn is so severe that significant scarring is common and death can occur in the worst cases.[1]

There are multiple ways to get burned in a restaurant, but there are also many preventative measures to take place. Below are different sources of heat and ways to prevent being burned by each:

  • Heat Lamps/Heat Strips: Be Mindful of the location of these lamps/strips when moving about the restaurant
  • Hot Dishes: Use Trays, hot pads, dry cloths, or oven mitts to protect your hands when carrying or serving hot dishes
  • Candlelit Tables: Never reach over an open flame. Walk around tables if necessary
  • Coffee Pots, Hot Water Dispensers: Do not remove a coffee pot until all the liquid is dispensed and be careful while handling hot drinks
  • Fryers: These are the top cause of burns in restaurant kitchens according to OSHA
    • Never pour grease past the “fill line”
    • Cook at manufacturers recommended temperatures so that you don’t overheat the oil.
    • Raise and lower fryer baskets with care to avoid splashing
    • Water and oil do not mix so remember to dry fryers and fryer baskets after washing
    • Do not hover over or stand to close to hot oil
    • Place nonslip mats around fryers to lower the chance of slips and falls around and on frying equipment
    • Provide protective gloves/mitts
  • Stovetops, Grills:
    • Keep stoves and grills clean to prevent excess grease flares
    • Adjust burner flames to proper level and stovetops should cover only the bottom of the pan
    • Do not overfill pots
    • Lids should be tight fitting and handles should be securely attached to hot pots/pans/etc.
    • Use tools such as tongs to prevent contact with warm surfaces and foods
  • Steamers, Ovens:
    • Do not reach over a steamer or oven because the steam can burn you
    • Do not open steam ovens or cookers when they’re under pressure
    • Open ovens/steamers by standing at the side, keeping the door between you and the open steamer
  • Microwaves:
    • Place microwaves in easy to reach areas
    • Face of the person using the microwave should be higher than the door of the microwave
    • Use vented containers or punctured plastic wraps to allow steam to escape while cooking in the microwave
    • Always lift lids away from your face[2]


Tagrisk Insurance Services’ risk appetite includes but is not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Our hospitality insurance programs fill coverage gaps that may exist in your current policies. Do not renew your insurance without a quote from us. Contact Tagrisk Insurance Services for a quote today!



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