Maintaining high standards of hygiene and preventing accidents in a busy kitchen is vital.
And this is where the importance of clear and concise kitchen safety signs come into play.
From implementing new safety measures to preventing accidents, kitchen safety signs have a wide variety of uses.
In a professional kitchen, continued communication of safety procedures is crucial for all staff members.
Particularly during the current Covid-19 climate, safety signs are now even more important than ever.
Not only do they ensure that staff in the kitchen are carrying out the correct safety procedures, but with plenty of new guidelines to remember, it’s vital to ensure rules are met for a safe environment for staff and customers.
It’s the responsibility of restaurant owners to keep up to date with the current regulations and ensure that the correct signs are placed in key locations to remind their employees of safety procedures during a hectic workday.
Knowledgeable kitchen staff make for a safe working environment.
The importance of kitchen safety signs
In the UK, 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related injuries over 2018 and 2019.
And in the catering industry alone, 84% of workers suffer work-related injuries at some point in their careers.
For restaurants not following the safety guidelines put in place by the government, this creates a huge issue for business owners and their workers.
From failed inspections, restaurant closures, considerable fines and even up to 6 months imprisonment in England and Wales, not following the rules is a big risk for businesses.
This is why it’s vital to follow this next stage of kitchen safety, in a post-lockdown restaurant.
If you know your hazards you can put appropriate signs in place as a gentle reminder to staff who have undergone the necessary training.
So, which new safety signs do you need in your restaurant kitchen? We’ve shared our most important signs to ensure your kitchen staff and customers are safe and following the guidelines.
Handwashing and cross-contamination
As we are all familiar with, handwashing is one of the key ways to prevent the spread of viruses, such as the coronavirus.
This is why reminding staff to wash their hands regularly, most importantly when handling food, is of the utmost importance.
Following government guidelines, the advice has been to make sure all staff wash hands regularly with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
All employees should be provided with regular breaks, have allocated break times, and a dedicated hand washing station – which should be clearly signposted.
Laminated signs can be used to remind staff to avoid touching their face or hair while handling food and instructions on the correct way, and duration of time, to wash their hands.
If you decide to give this a try, make sure to choose a laminating pouch with a gloss finish, as these can be used with a dry-erase pen for writing important notes, wiped clean, and then updated following changes in guidelines.
Shared equipment and kitchen areas which have high foot traffic and touch rates should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Kitchen safety signs can be used to remind staff to clean their work surface after completing a task, such as handling different meats and slicing vegetables.
Signs should be used to remind staff to wear face masks. This is to prevent any droplets from the nose and mouth contaminating food by staff, who may be unknowing carriers, from spreading the virus.
Other good hygiene practices also include the use of protective jackets, preventing cross-contamination of food from clothes worn outside, and the use of waterproof, blue plasters to cover wounds.
Safety signs can be used to remind kitchen workers of safety procedures when using knives and sharp utensils.
It’s also important to highlight precautions with signs for fire exits, fire assembly points, flammable gas, and as reminders to ensure cookers, grills, and ovens are turned off.
Another common cause of accidents in the kitchen is over-crowding.
Safety signs reminding staff members to keep a reasonable distance where possible are vital, and these can also be useful for customers who need a gentle reminder to stay safe.
You can find a range of free, printable safety signs for professional kitchens online, so it’s even easier to print, laminate and get your sign out in the kitchen.
Making sure to laminate your signs not only increases their durability and protects against wear, but with a high-quality option, they can even be cleaned quickly and easily.
Investing that extra time in your approach to safety signs not only allows for a better, fast-evolving approach to health and safety, but it’s also more cost-effective in the long term.