Injury or accident can occur at any place, at any time, be it in the work place or at home. These injuries (in this scope covers the minor injuries likely in a cooking environment) can be possibly prevented, and where it could not but happen can be effectively handled.
Below are the practical measures that should be observed to prevent or at least reduce to the barest minimum: cuts, falls, burns and strains. And where it occurs, some first aid measures (treatments).
Cuts: Always keep knives and use the right knife for the right job.
– Take precaution with sharp instrument; keep your fingers and other parts of your body from blade (sharp edge) or point.
– Keep shield on the sharp edges of tools and when not in use, store away in save place. Never keep knife loose with other cooking implements in a drawer.
– When cutting or chopping, ensure you do that, not on a stainless steel table, not even on your hand but on a board, and away from your body.
– Place a damp cloth under the board, where board slips and never try catching a falling knife.
– Never fool around with knife. Should you pass a knife to another, keep it pointed at the floor and not upwards.
– Wipe knife from the blunt side.
First Aid Treatment:
In the case of a minor cut, rinse wound under a cleaning running water or wash using clean water with an antiseptic like Dettol or Salvon until wound is clean, then put on a protective glove to avoid contamination.
– Clean and dry the floor. The floor is usually slippery when wet or when fats, scraps, soap splash and drop or when nylon papers litter the floor.
– Wear non-slip shoes. Let your shoes have a good grip on the floor.
– Look where you walk. Avoid carrying large items as this might block your view and may cause you to lose your balance.
– Be sure to clear your runway of boxes, equipment, hose and wires, etc.
– Keep your mind on what you are doing. Walk purposefully but don’t run.
Strain: this means pulling the muscle in a wrong way or too suddenly, so the muscle gives way. This could be very painful as it can cause damage to the muscle. A strain in a pace like the stomach or chest could cause rupture of the internal lining, which can cause hernia that might require surgery. So
– Don’t lift heavy object without help. Use the trolley instead.
– Bend your knees, not your waist. Keep your back straight.
– Fetch it, don’t stretch for it.
– Don’t show off your strength. Work gradually, don’t go it once. Lift from floor to the chair and then to the counter.
First Aid Treatment For falls and Strains
Make the injured as comfortable as possible, apply cold compress (ice in a cloth). If any doubt about injury, treat as a fracture.
Unless you play it safe burns can occur working with any form of heat.
So beware of:
– Naked flame near your clothing or towel, electric heat near any part of your body, oil that fries too long and to hot, it can burst into flames.
– Boiling water too close to the top of your kettle or saucepan can boil over and splash.
– Don’t pick up a pan, pot or plate without checking the temperature.
– Keep papers, plastic aprons and other flammable materials away from hot areas and don’t try to do too many things at a time, stay calm and don’t be rushed.
– Use only natural gas or any other source designed for the purpose.
– Burns and scalds from steam must be cooled as soon as possible at least for ten minutes. This will reduce heat from the burn, swelling and pains as well as prevent further damage to underlying tissue.
– Blisters must not be removed. A wet cloth or ice wrapped in cloth may be used on the injury. Remove any thing on that part of the body before swelling occurs.
– Dress area with clean, sterile materials or bandage.
– Do not use adhesive dressings, plasters or cotton wool.
– Do not apply lotions or fat to the injury and never break blisters, remove loose skin or interfere with the injury.
The measures discussed above are intended for minor injuries alone. A qualified physician should handle major injuries professionally.