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Dermatitis in Catering – is your employer doing enough?

Dermatitis in Catering – is your employer doing enough?

Dermatitis in the Catering Industry – do you know a sufferer? Is your employer doing enough?

Dermatitis is a skin condition that is caused by skin irritants and results in red, sore, dry and even cracked skin that can become infected and painful if not treated correctly.
This is can occur frequently in people who work within the catering industry due to the cleaning agents that are used and contact with water, as well as some food stuffs that can result in allergic reactions. As an employer, there is a duty to manage the risks posed to all employees, as detailed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and expanded in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Health surveillance is also necessary for staff where dermatitis is present.

With allergic reactions, the exact cause can be difficult to diagnose. It is important that the employer does not adopt generic management strategies for dermatitis without monitoring the outcomes, believing that this is suitable and sufficient.

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Preventing slips and falls in the catering industry

Preventing slips and falls in the catering industry

Slips and falls are accidents that can be generally be prevented with appropriate safe systems of work and careful management. However, it is possible for very significant and costly injuries to occur without adequate consideration.

A recent case involved a chef that slipped over due to unsuitable floor surfaces and debris on the kitchen floor. He suffered severe burns on his arms, hands and face when he reached out to regain his balance, but instead plunged his arm into boiling hot oil. The chef had to have surgery and spent five months off work.
An investigation into the incident discovered that there was an issue with water collecting on the floor around the dishwasher, steamers and vegetable prep area; there was also an issue with the flooring being unsuitable for the kitchen environment – it was confirmed that these problems had been regularly highlighted by the staff, yet the employer had done nothing to rectify the situation.

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