Prevent burns among restaurant workers

April 1, 2011

A major cause of workplace injuries is burns, and more than one-third of these occur in restaurants. The number of reported burn cases average about 12,000 a year, although the actual number is believed to be much higher, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

To prevent burn injuries in restaurants, the department offers the following tips:

  • Avoid overcrowding on range tops.
  • Check hot food on stoves carefully.
  • Turn pot handles away from burners, and never leave handles sticking out over the edge of the range.
  • Adjust burner flames to cover only the bottom of a pan.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing when working around ranges, ovens or machines, and always keep sleeves buttoned.
  • Place sealed cooking pouches in boiling water carefully to avoid splashing.
  • Do not leave hot oil or grease unattended for any period of time.
  • Ask for help when moving a heavy pot of hot liquid.
  • Always lift lids slowly and carefully to allow steam to escape.

Working with fryers can expose workers to a number of burn hazards. Both employers and workers can take steps to ensure worker safety when using fryers.


  • Provide grease-containing units that dump automatically.
  • Provide fryers that automatically lower food into hot oil.
  • Provide splash guards on fryers.


  • Wear protective clothing and use hot pads, pot holders, gloves or mitts.
  • Shake off excess ice crystals before placing fryer baskets in hot oil.
  • Fill fryer baskets no more than halfway.
  • Raise and lower fryer baskets gently.
  • Do not lean over or stand too close to hot oil.
  • Keep beverages and other liquids away from fryers.
  • Follow directions when adding or disposing of fat or oil.