Don’t Get Burned: How to Avoid Injury Working in a Fast Food Kitchen

Your health is the top priority, no matter what stage of life you are in. Without a healthy body and limbs, it is going to be difficult to progress in your career or find another one. If you work in a fast food kitchen, then you may be faced with even more hazards than others. Working in a fast-paced environment surrounded by hot surfaces and sharp objects can challenging, so it helps to have a plan to avoid injury. Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Knife Skills

Knife injuries are one of the most common ways that people can get hurt while preparing food, especially when doing so quickly. In fast food, you might be in a rush. Therefore, you could get anxious to get your job done and on to the next thing that needs to be sliced. If you don’t know the proper way to chop, however, that speed may lead to fingers being next item diced on the chopping board. Always cut away from you and never go quicker than you feel comfortable with, especially with smooth or slick foods. Curl your knuckles on the fingers holding the food down to create a barrier between your fingertips and the blade, and always use a sharp knife. Dull blades actually are more painful to be cut by and may cause you to slip.


Another major cause of injury in the kitchen is not communicating with those around you. For instance, if you are carrying a hot or heavy item, announce yourself so that someone coming the opposite way isn’t surprise by your inability to get out of their way. You’ll also want to make sure others are aware if you are leaving out a hot item or if something has spilled. Make sure to keep open communication between you and your coworkers to avoid unnecessary accidents that could lead to serious injury.

Heat Protection

It can be annoying to put on gloves every time you put something in or take something out from an oven or fryer. However, even just an instant of contact with a sufficiently hot pan or rack can lead to serious burns. Don’t risk it, wear your protection every time you are dealing with heat. Also, while most cooking situations necessitate shorter sleeves, wearing long sleeves is important when working with hot oil. The boiling oil can leap up in flecks and burn your skin, leaving scars and potentially leading to infection if the burn is serious enough. Make sure you have protection on hand if you’re going to be working on or near the fryer, and a way to remove it if you’ll later be working near an open flame.

Know Your Rights

If your employer does not have the right safety regulations or operations in place in their restaurant and you are hurt, you can sue. This is something that personal injury lawyers like Alexander Law Group tell people in their community all the time. Employers will often not inform you of your rights to compensation at the time of injury, or at all if they can get away with it. If you know that your injury was caused by negligence on the part of your employer, it is your job to ask for that compensation, then sue if necessary.  

When it comes to working in fast food, it is a job where you are going to be exposed to hazardous conditions. Hot fryers, knives, and other elements could result in an injury for you. The last thing you want to do lose time from work due to a preventable injury, especially without compensation. Plan ahead and know how to protect yourself in the kitchen before heading in.