WorkSafeBC Cooks Up Kitchen Safety Videos

"Commercial kitchens have the potential to be a recipe for risk," said Lisa Houle, manager of Industry and Labour Services at WorkSafeBC. "They contain lots of sharp, heavy, hot objects; the pace of work is demanding; and they have high employee turnover, so there's a constant need for training."

WorkSafeBC has developed a series of short training videos, seven in all, in partnership with go2HR, about safety for kitchen workers. The videos feature interviews and insights from well-known executive chefs in British Columbia who share their real-life perspectives on the importance of kitchen safety and offer lessons from their own experiences. The videos demonstrate proper techniques for using equipment and performing common tasks:

  • Kitchen Safety: Focusing on Safety
  • Kitchen Safety: Preventing Cuts from Knives
  • Kitchen Safety: Preventing Cuts from Meat Slicers
  • Kitchen Safety: Preventing Burns and Scalds
  • Kitchen Safety: Using Deep Fryers Safely
  • Kitchen Safety: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • Kitchen Safety: Preventing Lifting Injuries

More than 60 percent of injury claims in the B.C. food service industry involve kitchen workers, according to the agency, which reports in the B.C. restaurant industry alone, there were 269 serious injuries in restaurants during 2017, and 47 percent of those injuries happened to kitchen workers.

Approximately 97,000 people in B.C. work in kitchens as chefs, cooks, food counter attendants, and helpers. "Commercial kitchens have the potential to be a recipe for risk," said Lisa Houle, manager of Industry and Labour Services at WorkSafeBC. "They contain lots of sharp, heavy, hot objects; the pace of work is demanding; and they have high employee turnover, so there's a constant need for training. These videos provide tips from experienced industry professionals that even the home cook will find useful."

Isabel Chung, executive chef at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, is featured in the series, along with Dennis Green (executive chef, go2HR), Cindy Hamilton (owner, Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck), and Jeff Szombaty (executive chef, Hyatt Regency, formerly in Vancouver and currently in Waikiki, Hawaii). "Safety's always been a consideration in the kitchen," Chung said. "From a young employee's point of view, if your employer won't listen to you, they're not worth working for."

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