Accidents That Happen in the Kitchen

By Cynthia Measom

Frances E. Ruffin, author of "Kitchen smarts: Food Safety and Kitchen Equipment" cites fires, electrical shock and mishaps with knives as the three most common causes of kitchen accidents. In fact, most kitchen fires ignite when the person cooking leaves the area, according to information from the National Food Safety Council website. Awareness and attentiveness are key factors in preventing kitchen accidents.

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Unattended pans of food on a stove top can catch fire.

Knife Accidents

Using a dull knife or holding a knife improperly when cutting can result in a kitchen accident. While you may think a dull knife has the potential for less danger, it can end up resulting in an accident if you have to exert extra pressure on it while cutting. The knife can slip and pierce your skin. If you cut towards yourself, instead of angling the knife away when cutting food, you also take the risk of driving the knife into your skin. Knives that fall can cut you if you try to catch them or they fall on your leg or foot.

Burns

Burns can occur from a variety of sources. An unattended pot of boiling water can be pulled down onto an unsuspecting child causing serious burns. A pan of oil that gets too hot can ignite and cause burns to the person who tries to put it out or set the kitchen on fire. Loose clothing can dangle into flames from gas burners and ignite. Putting frozen food into a hot fryer full of oil can result in the oil bubbling up onto your hand and arm. Handles of pots and pans can become heated by the burner underneath them, and an unprotected hand can suffer burns.

Electrical Accidents

Water and electricity don't mix, so if a plugged-in appliance gets pulled into a sink full of water, electrocution could result. Plants that drip water or spills onto appliances can result in electrical shock. Sticking metal objects into appliances such as toasters can also cause electrical shock. Extension cords that are frayed or overloaded can result in fires or shock.

Slips and Falls

Since all kinds of liquids and foods can be used in a kitchen, spills are inevitable. If the spill is a slippery food or liquid, this can result in someone slipping and possibly falling, which can cause fractures, broken bones, concussions or sprains. Climbing up on step stools to reach items up high can result in a fall and injuries. Freshly mopped floors that aren't marked with a "Caution Wet Floor" sign can cause slipping and falling.