Deep fat fryers are the most common cause of serious claims as they present a number of safety risks—potential fires, slips and serious burns.
The positioning of the fryer is important. It should be situated away from the ends of the range, cooking equipment where water could be spilled into the fryer and busy work areas or walkways, ideally small tables will be located either side of the fryers.
The fryers are often a cause of significant fires as they over heat, catch fire and ignite the grease in the main kitchen duct. You must at least have a lid and fire blanket for the equipment. Ideally you should have a wet chemical portable extinguisher which is suitable for fat fires and it is preferable that you have a suitable fire suppression system installed. Your insurer may even require it. Remember to have your duct cleaned, normally every 6 months unless your cleaner recommends a different frequency based on their observations.
The fryer also causes significant burns when the oil is removed before it has cooled. Oil should only be drained from the fryer after it has had sufficient time to cool. This can take a long time and is a task best done before starting work rather than at the end of the shift. A sign should be displayed in the fryer stating the oil must be cooled before removal.
A number of serious accidents have also occurred with staff slipping on floors adjacent to deep fat fryers. In one case a waitress plunged her arm into a fryer whilst attempting to stop herself falling as she slipped on a kitchen floor resulting in serious and traumatic injury. Care must be taken to ensure the area around the fryer is kept free of trip hazards and that the floor is subject to effective cleaning which leaves the floor in a safe condition. Any spillages must be cleaned up immediately.
Remember to keep your risk assessment up to date and ensure all staff who use the fryer receive recorded training in its safe use.