Working in a restaurant kitchen can be physically demanding. Back strains and injuries can be especially common, so if you want to help your employees, you should invest in equipment that helps protect their backs. Doing so also helps protect you from sick days, disability claims, or other expenses related to backaches and injuries.
Here are some products you should consider:
1. Adjustable stainless steel tables
Your employees spend a lot of time using the stainless-steel work surfaces in your kitchen. They chop vegetables, knead bread, mix salads, frost cakes, and much more at these surfaces. If the work tables in the kitchen are too low for your employees, they have to stoop down to use them, a position that hunches their backs and shoulders. In contrast, if the work surfaces are too high, your employees must unnaturally raise their shoulders so that their hands can reach the table.
To avoid both of these scenarios, invest in adjustable stainless steel tables for your commercial kitchen. If possible, focus on relatively small tables. That way, you can create individual work stations for different employees, and even if everyone working that shift is a different height, they can all adjust their tables as needed.
2. Automatic choppers
In addition to changing the height of some work surfaces, consider reducing the amount of repetitive tasks your cooks do every day. In particular, look into automatic chopping machines. These can handle julienning, dicing, and chopping vegetables like potatoes.
As a result, your employees won't have to spend as much time gripping a knife and moving it up and down. Repetitive actions, especially those that involve gripping an object, can lead to stress injuries. These injuries can affect your employees' arms, joints, necks, and backs.
3. Cushioned, non-slip floor mats
Whether you reduce the chopping burden or not, your kitchen staff spends most of their time on their feet, and standing can cause back pain. To give your employees a bit of extra comfort, invest in mats for your floor. These provide cushioning underfoot, and they can also reduce slips and falls, which can also be a contributor to backaches.
4. Chef shoes
Even with cushioned floor mats, the shoes your employees wear can affect the health of their backs. If you supply chef whites, consider also supplying chef shoes. Have each of your employees fitted individually so they can choose the type of shoe that works the best with their feet.
In addition to all the standing and chopping, chefs are usually tasked with putting shipments away. This can involve moving a lot of heavy boxes. To eliminate the risk of back strain related to carrying boxes, invest in a dolly.
When choosing it, make sure that it is narrow enough to fit through your freezer door. That way, your employees can easily wheel boxes of frozen goods into the freezer without lifting and carrying them.
6. Smaller garbage cans
When looking at restaurant supplies to reduce back aches, it's easy to hone in on products that promise to protect your employees' backs, such as cushioned, non-slip floor mats. However, there are a range of other supplies that can also help. For example, consider investing in small garbage cans.
When your garbage cans are small, you have to empty them more frequently, but the bags of trash are a lot lighter, and that small change can help protect your staff's backs, as well.
For more tips and ideas on which restaurant equipment and supplies can help protect your employees' backs in the kitchen, contact a restaurant equipment vendor today, like Louis Wohl & Sons Inc.