Controlling Kitchen Electrical Hazards

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Safe With Society

As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.

Electric shock is a frequent cause of kitchen injuries. Electricity in combination with wet floors, wet food preparation surfaces and dishwashing equipment can pose a serious hazard.

Prevent electrical shock.

The following hazards may cause electric shock:

  • Damaged or worn electrical cords
  • Equipment and appliances with improper or faulty wiring
  • Using a cloth for cleaning that is dripping wet near sources of electricity

To Prevent an Electric Shock, You Should:

  1. Do not “flip” the circuit breaker as an On and Off switch. This can cause damage to the breaker.
  2. Make sure all employees know how to turn off the power in an emergency.
  3. Always use dry hands when handling cords or plugs.
  4. Pull on the plug, not the cord, to disconnect it from the outlet.
  5. If the cord is wet or you are standing in water, remove the cord from the water. Do not plug it in.
  6. Don’t run cords across walkways. This can damage the cord.
  7. Remind staff to report any possible problems.
  8. Avoid handling a cord or plug that has exposed wiring; a damaged cord should be discarded. Only handle the insulated part of a plug or cord.
  9. If in doubt, have a licensed electrician evaluate the kitchen wiring, outlets, and switches to verify the system is appropriate for wet environments.
  10. In wet environments, use only cords with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s).

Click here for a helpful handout on controlling kitchen electrical hazards to share with your employees.

Our risk control team is available to help facilitate your safety and health efforts. Learn more about this collaborative and consultative partnership, as well as the exclusive safety resources developed to keep your workplace safe and profitable.

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20 thoughts on “Controlling Kitchen Electrical Hazards

  1. Veronica Marks

    I had no idea that you shouldn’t “flip” the circuit breaker as a switch. I’ve definitely done that a few times before, and just figured it was a convenient way to turn everything off and on all at once. I’ll be sure to avoid using the circuit breaker that way in the future!

  2. Nash Rich

    I’ve never done it, but I didn’t know it was bad to use the breaker as an on and off switch. Good tip about pulling from the plug, not the cord. I have a bad habit of doing that. Great tips overall, I’ll keep it all in mind!

  3. Alex Trodder

    It’s true that many fires start in the kitchen. Having the right cooking and electrical conditions can help make your home or business a safer place. You make a great point about how everyone should report electrical problems. This way you can have an electrician look at and fix the problem as quickly as possible. Thanks for your post.

  4. Lillian Moore

    Thanks for the article! I thought it was interesting that you suggest not flipping the circuit breaker as an on and off switch. This ends up damaging the breaker and can possibly lead to electric shock. My husband was fixing a power outlet to change its face for a better hold and forgot to turn off the power to that wall and shocked himself. This was a scary situation and could have been avoided if he had been more attentive to the dangers he was putting himself in.

  5. James Bergman

    I think that if you have been using the breaker as an on-off switch for the kitchen electronics then you definitely need to hire an electrician. This means there is something wrong with your wiring. If you feel like you have to turn off the power that often then you should probably just have a switch installed on the wall that you can flip on and off.

  6. Brooke McAvoy

    I appreciate your reminder of how hazardous a damaged electrical cord is. This is something that I have neglected to think about, but it should be a simple task to check all of my cords routinely. Do you have any suggestions for how often I should do this? Thank you for such a helpful article!

  7. John Ferrell

    I like that you said that everyone needs to know how to turn off the electricity in an emergency. When I was getting my electrical replaced in my kitchen I asked how I could make sure to be safe. You may want to ask a professional about tips for safety when you are around electrical things.

  8. Electrician near me

    Electric shock is common but no one takes it seriously until the harm is done. Good thing you have discussed it here. I too have been a victim of shock during the time I know nothing about handling electrical hazards. But it pays to arm yourselves with knowledge too. Thanks for sharing this tips!

  9. Ellie Davis

    I liked that you mentioned a great way to prevent electrical shocks in your office will be not to run cords across walkways. My husband moved his office to a commercial space, and we are looking for advice about safety. I will let him know about this article to see if it helps to keep his workplace safe.

  10. Dylan Peterson

    I appreciate what you said about not flipping the circuit breaker like an on and off switch. My wife and I need some electrical work done in our home. We’ll be sure to look into our options for professionals that know how to properly use the breaker.

  11. LAN Cabling Auckland

    This is the best write up on 10 tips for controlling kitchen electrical hazards.I really loved it and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You have a great visualization and you have really presented this content in a really good manner.

  12. Megan Adler

    I like that you said we should avoid at any cost t touch a plug when there is exposed wiring. My husband and I just noticed that our kitchen´s hidden outlet has exposed wiring, and we caught our son wanting to play with it. I will tell my husband to buy the proper equipment to fix it and avoid any future electric shocks.

  13. Anthony La Rocca

    There has been an ongoing issue at my work where a milkshake machine keeps shocking employees. My boss said to just wear rubber gloves to avoid the shock, is this against OHS laws?


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