Burn Prevention in Foodservice | Tucker Safety

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Burn Prevention

Scalds and Burns are Preventable Injuries

Burns: A Preventable Hazard

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Burn injuries are not only painful, but costly for your business!

The majority of people hospitalized for occupational burns are involved in food preparation. A single moment of inattention is sometimes all it takes for a busy worker to suffer a serious burn. It is also worth noting many burn injuries result in long-term physiological and psychological impairment.

While many burn accidents are minor, the importance of prevention cannot be overstated. Management not enforcing safety rules, workers ignoring safety rules, workers under pressure to move quickly taking shortcuts, and experienced workers becoming too familiar with their jobs and taking unnecessary risks are the largest contributors to occupational burns according to The Burn Foundation.

Burn injuries are not only painful, but costly for your business, leading to absenteeism, increased workers’ compensation costs, lower morale and increased turnover. When you really think about it, upfront investment in Effective Protective Apparel™ is a small consideration compared to a single burn injury claim.

Scalds and Burns are Preventable Injuries

Burn injuries can very serious causing scarring and nerve damage and in some cases death.

According to the Burn Foundation, the Foodservice Industry experiences the highest number of burn injuries of any employment sector with other industry statistics revealing nearly one-third of occupational burns occurring in restaurants*.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists foodservice workers among the top 50 occupations at risk for occupational burns.

Hot liquids and steam are frequent burning agents

Scald burns are one of the most common causes of burns in commercial foodservice.

A burn at 160ºF (71ºC) takes only one second to produce a full-thickness burn. When hot liquid makes contact with the skin, cells are killed by the heat. Even with incidental contact, damage can still occur.

The majority of burns occurring in foodservice operations are the result of accidental contact with hot liquids and steam or immersion in scalding water.

Burns are classified by severity and burn depth

First Degree Burn (Superficial Partial Thickness): These burns only include the outer layer of skin, and are marked by red, pink or dark pink skin. The burns are usually painful, but there are no blisters.

Second Degree Burn (Partial Thickness): These burns penetrate deeper into the dermis and usually includes large blisters and may have a wet appearance.

Third Degree Burn (Full Thickness): These burns may have a charred appearance, be leathery, white in color and feel dry to the touch. Often, the burned areas will lose sensitivity and include the entire depth of skin.

Fourth Degree Burn (Full Thickness): These burns penetrate all the way to muscles, tendons and bones. Skin grafts, surgery and even amputation may be required.

Preventing Burn Injuries

  • Wear Tucker protective gloves or mitts when handling hot pots or cooking with hot liquids and grease
  • Wear non-skid shoes to prevent slipping on wet or greasy tile floors
  • Avoid reaching over or across hot surfaces and burners
  • Avoid overcrowding on range tops
  • Turn pan handles away from burners; never leave handles sticking out over the edge of the stove/range
  • Adjust burner flames to cover only the bottom of the pan
  • Keep sleeves buttoned and avoid wearing loose clothing when working around ranges, ovens or hot equipment
  • Ask for help when moving a heavy container of liquid or oil; if possible, avoid moving hot oil while it is hot
  • Plan traffic patterns so workers carrying hot food won't collide with each other

*Source: American Burn Association, Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation