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post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

my freshly sharpened knife couldnt tell the difference between my middle finger and the $hit i was cutting this afternoon, and i got cut good for the first time in like a year. i dropped the 3 fastest f bombs of my life no joke. guess i thought this would be a good thread to share gory details of mandolins and steam burns etc?

and typing with one less finger feels weird am i right?

 

post #2 of 19

Mine is more of a series in a week. The first happened while julienning onions. I was moving pretty fast when something startled me and the knife went above my middle finger which was guiding it and sliced into the first knuckle tip on my left hand. Luckily my fingers were curled; otherwise it would have just sliced right down in. It was cut about halfway off but we were able to save it and sew it back on. My finger would be stuck in a splint for about a month. Then about a week later, I was sautéing a chicken breast during service. It was one of those breasts with added water. They were left over from the old regime and the chef wanted to finish it off. As I was turning to plate with the sauté pan in my left hand, a bunch of water released from the chicken all of a sudden, popped a bunch of very hot oil all over my hand. I quickly finished plating before throwing the pan in the sink and checking out the damage. It was about that point people see it and start yelling and panicking. At one point there was English, Spanish, Greek, Albanian, and I think even a little French. I tried joking that I didn’t drop the chicken and plated before I dropped the sauté pan. No one thought that was funny. I got some medicine on it real fast and try to finish my shift but it’s a corporate place so no one would let me continue to work until a doctor looked at it. Mind you this is also the hand with the incapacitated middle finger. I was back at work the next day but over the course of the next month, I got very good at cooking with only one hand. Knife skills were real interesting then.

post #3 of 19

You guys are a corporate chef's worst nightmare. We are judged on LTI's (Lost Time Incidents, or "reportables"), and our rating with the WCB goes down the toilet every time someone has an "incident". Needless to say, the accident is just the start of the trouble. Corporate H&S experts get involved, there are incident reports, follow-ups, action plans.... keeps a few of the bean counters employed, I guess. The point is, that no one should get hurt, but more often than not, it is human error - no, let me re-phrase this - it is ALWAYS human error which causes an accident. I have plenty of horror stories - luckily not my own (I'm glad to say I have never needed stitches, or lost a moment's work due to a work place accident - at least not in a kitchen). There was a student of mine who - get this - while wearing sneakers (!) stood on a still hot enough flat top to clean the hood, and while his sneaker soles began to melt, he slipped and fell with his right arm first into the deep fryer. The hot oil fused the fingers on his right hand together. They had to be separated surgically. He had pictures of the incident which I used in my health and safety class. This happened at the restaurant he worked at, not the school (thank God!). In another case, one of our cooks lost a finger when the cast iron grate from the char-broiler came crashing down on it while she was trying to clean underneath it. They managed to sew it back on. She was off work for six weeks...

In all due earnesty, I have fired cooks for being careless on the job. Some are just clumsy, some always rushed, some just don't think. When they become a hazard to those around them, it's time for them to go. Sorry.

post #4 of 19

I know the whole thing with dealing with corporate and it probably sounds like out my kitchen if filled with seven fingered people covered in burns. These two incidents and an incident my first day of culinary school are the only major things that have actually happened to me in my career so far, minus the little "kiss" burns on the forearms that everybody gets. There's really only one, maybe two incidents a year where parperwork is needed. Funny part about the safety ratings with corporate is it isn't the kitchen who brings down the rating, its the maintenence department who isn't even in the kitchen. I kind of actually use them now as a teaching tool in the kitchen with new people and brought down incidents. Basically if you aren't careful, this can happen (and I show them a picture). It has actually worked very well, especially with knife skills. I choose just to laugh about it now because its not like I can go back and change it.

post #5 of 19

For about a year ago i worked at a place that could fit around 300 guest and around x-mas times we often did. One of those times we were plating the hot course to go out for 300 ppl we were 4 cooks plus the head chef and all had a different item to put on the plate. we plated 50 plates at a time and the waiters took em out, I think we were half way trough when one of the other cooks that were plating the sous seemed that the "hotBox" were a good place to store the boiling sauces of course he fumbles and i get the hot pan all over my back. Hot Redwinesauce making your chefswhites sticking to your back aint fun i tell you.

post #6 of 19

 

 

Worst burn was an oil burn. I was searing short ribs and forgot the whole place them away from you rule. Anyways my forearm caught some grease and a burn about 3 inches long bubbled up.

post #7 of 19

I was dicing onions for soup and it was on knife day so Nella had been in with the knives partway through my dicing.  My  nice new sharp knife slipped on an onion membrane and I fileted my finger.  I believe I said  "oh S***" and something in my voice told them I was hurt. It was cut in a way that wasn't stitchable and I knew that from past mishaps with knives...

 

Then another time I was changing the setting of the salamander so I could fast broil some potatoes (they customer wanted well done homefries and the sally was the fastest way to get it done) when the handle broke off below where my hand was and fell into the pot of boiling water directly below it, and it splashed up onto me.  I was very lucky,... I had my chef jacked on as well as a tshirt underneath so all I ended up with was a hickey like burn mark on my neck.

 

Years ago when I worked at the coffee shop (before I went into the back to bake) I was serving on the line and we did it in teams.. one person took the orders, the other person filled them.. I usually did the filling as for some reason I was faster than most of the people that I worked with at the time.  I don't know what I did but somehow I ended up with a filter basket of coffee on my hand while it was in full brew cycle.  Silly me was more worried about the mess I made than the damage I did to my hand at first when the manager pulled me off the line and made me take care of my hand.  It wasn't a lost time injury ... all I needed was burn cream and I was very careful to keep it well covered.  It was the worst burn I have ever had in my life and it didn't even leave a permanent mark.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #8 of 19

I once clipped my fingernails too short.

post #9 of 19

Was pulling a sheet pan with turkeys on a rack 

out of the oven. One of the servers was rushing by, and bumped into my arm from behind. Needless to say, the sheet slipped. The rack slid off, and hit me in the throat. 2nd and 3rd degree burns requiring skin grafts. The owner offered me $5000 not to sue, as well as all my medical expenses paid for. I told him I just wanted my expenses paid for, and her fired because this isn't the first time she's done something like this. I had yelled at her several times before for being a danger in the kitchen. 

post #10 of 19

One of my culinary instructors cut her finger off when she was using some sort of veggie slicer years ago when she was young and careless while working in a kitchen, so she's missing one of her index fingers. I never noticed it until she brought it up in one of our safety/sanitation classes.

 

One of my other culinary instructors was using our new rational (steam/convection oven) a few years ago while it was on steam. He opened the door, but he was too close. The steam --quite literally-- burned his face off. His face pealed for months.

 

LESSONS LEARNED and it wasn't even my finger or face!

post #11 of 19

I was holding two industrial-sized sheet pans, one in each of my hands (What was I thinking?! I was in the weeds at the time, that's my only excuse). Both had just come out of the oven so they were piping hot. One pan slipped, careening toward my bicep, and seared me through my chef's coat! My arm was covered with burn scars for nearly an year after that.

 

Back in culinary school, a girl (NOT me!) stuck her hand into the Hobart machine... while it was moving! She broke her arm and had to sit out for the remaining weeks.

 

 

post #12 of 19

I was cleaning up for the night, and getting ready to do floors. we got our water from the Dish Machine because it was the hottest water in the restaurant. I was throwing soapy water on the floor so my mate could start scrubbing, and the water had a wave affect off of the lowboy and back into my shoe. Had 2nd & 3rd degree burns because the hot water was trapped in my shoe, hilarious image of me jumping around trying to pull off my shoes. This is why I now wear knock-off brand crocs, can't happen if water can't get trapped

 

Only other injury was when I had gotten absolutely no sleep the night before (got out of a banquet late, then had extra school work to do) showed up to work so grogy that even coffee couldn't fix me. I was slicing scallions during prep and cut the tip of my thumb off (ironically with my brand new knife, only 1 week old) Had to get it stitched back up. This was when I was working at a ski resort thought so before I could even hop in a car to get to the ER I had to ski down the mountain holding my bleeding thumb above my heart. Again, awesome imagery.


:tux

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

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:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

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post #13 of 19

The only one worth reporting was when I was carrying a sheet pan with breakfast mis off the line after brunch I slipped (the floors in the kitchen were so old that they anti-slip coating had worn off) and there was a stock range with a full pot of boiling water and when I fell, I threw the pan in the air and ended up with my whole right arm into the pot and then pulled it down onto me. The Chef jacket saved my back and the rest of my body but my arm had 2nd and 3rd degree burns up to the elbow. Luckily I didn't burn the palm of my hand because I made such a tight fist. Was off work for 6 weeks

 

Turns out that when I reported the injury to WCB they told me that I wasn't the first one with a slip injury from this restaurant and that the owner had been ordered on multiple occasions to replace the floor coating. They ending up giving me a good payout and so many fines to the owner that he had to shut down.

 

 

post #14 of 19

I had one yesterday... I was breaking down a wheel of cheese and there is one cut that makes the pieces fall.. when we cut it into quarters for breaking down even further.  The director was working with me on cheese because he wanted to get his head around the deli department and what we go through each day, and he had asked me a question so I looked away from the cheese for a second and then when I went back to grab one of the forms as it fell I was too late and it landed on my finger.  It hurt and for a while I couldn't feel the pad of my finger.  They put me on light duties for the rest of the day (thank goodness it was near the end of the day when it happened) but it's fine now so I am fine to go back to full duties tomorrow.  They documented it and when the office people are in tomorrow they'll be writing up an official accident report. 

 

I work for a big company so they are very by the book with this kind of stuff.

 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #15 of 19

So what you're saying is you incurred injury while cutting the cheese? ;)

post #16 of 19

First let me say ...."slow the freak down and respect the kinfe".

 That being said, as a chef for over 30 yrs. all great chefs have the Big injury story to tell, we all learn from our mistakes.

 As a district chef for a large global company " use a cutting glove" injuries cost HUGE!

But the REAL lesson here is to learn better knife skills to the point where you can cut anything, at any speed literaly with your eyes closed. Keep both hands ON the kinfe at all times. hand/knuckles on the side or top of the knife good. hand/fingers UNDER the blade BAD.

 Don`t feel too bad. your nobody until you`ve screwed up that bad,I know I have.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBoyarG View Post

So what you're saying is you incurred injury while cutting the cheese? ;)



Yes apparently I did...biggrin.gif

 

I also was injured when moving the cheese two weeks ago.  I was getting orders ready to ship out and I slipped in a puddle near a floor drain and fell.  It wasn't far to go since I was bent over anyway, but I managed to annoy a ton of muscles!   Cheese is dangerous stuff!

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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelbanger View Post

You guys are a corporate chef's worst nightmare. We are judged on LTI's (Lost Time Incidents, or "reportables"), and our rating with the WCB goes down the toilet every time someone has an "incident". Needless to say, the accident is just the start of the trouble. Corporate H&S experts get involved, there are incident reports, follow-ups, action plans.... keeps a few of the bean counters employed, I guess. The point is, that no one should get hurt, but more often than not, it is human error - no, let me re-phrase this - it is ALWAYS human error which causes an accident. I have plenty of horror stories - luckily not my own (I'm glad to say I have never needed stitches, or lost a moment's work due to a work place accident - at least not in a kitchen). There was a student of mine who - get this - while wearing sneakers (!) stood on a still hot enough flat top to clean the hood, and while his sneaker soles began to melt, he slipped and fell with his right arm first into the deep fryer. The hot oil fused the fingers on his right hand together. They had to be separated surgically. He had pictures of the incident which I used in my health and safety class. This happened at the restaurant he worked at, not the school (thank God!). In another case, one of our cooks lost a finger when the cast iron grate from the char-broiler came crashing down on it while she was trying to clean underneath it. They managed to sew it back on. She was off work for six weeks...

In all due earnesty, I have fired cooks for being careless on the job. Some are just clumsy, some always rushed, some just don't think. When they become a hazard to those around them, it's time for them to go. Sorry.



A trait of a great manager is realizing when an employee is safer being let go from the kitchen than being in it.

 

It's a true wonder that some of the ppl i've had the extreme fortune of working with over the years were not mauled by packs of wolves waiting outside their front doors(predators isolate the weaker & stupider members of the herd for anyone who's missing the reference...). Mostly i've referenced that one to servers & bartenders, but there's been few gems of cooks & dishies that would fall into that category.

 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

im a corporate chefs dream employee...considering that i spend around 60 hours in the kitchen, my time lost to injury (20 minutes to stop the bleeding and tidy up/sanitize) to (unpaid) overtime ratio is pretty lopsided. its just a matter of time before something is just off enough where you end up on the pointy side of the blade. people sitting in an office chair get sore asses and strained eyeballs. cooks get cut and burnt. id imagine im more worried about an injury serious enough to keep me from working than my employer, no matter what legal situation they could find themselves in. 

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