In 2016, Carolyn Robinson died in a walk-in freezer after spending 13 hours alone overnight. Even after working for 35 years for the hotel, one mistake ultimately ended her life prematurely. While death by a walk-in freezer is infrequent, it is extremely dangerous. Employers must take the necessary precautions and sufficiently train their employees on the proper usage and cleaning methods.
Five Ways to Improve Safety
Any business with walk-in freezers needs to take the proper steps to ensure employee safety. There are five ways all employers can do this regardless of their industry.
Maintain a Clean Freezer
Like most things, the cleaner, the better. When you maintain a clean freezer, not only are you preserving the contents, but you are also making it safer for your employees. Mold and fungus can grow at all temperatures, so you must regularly clean your freezer. Not doing so can spread sickness across the workplace.
Keep Your Freezer Dry
Like maintaining a clean freezer, it is essential to keep your freezer dry. Any excess moisture will turn into ice if not adequately cleaned. If this happens, your employees will inevitably slip and fall, leading to lawsuits and workers’ compensation.
Keep Your Freezers Functioning
You should regularly check your freezers to ensure all parts are correctly working. Your checks should include all electrical mechanisms as well as safety releases and gaskets. If there is a faulty piece of equipment someone in the freezer, it poses a threat to the well-being of your employees.
Provide Adequate Clothing
An employers’ most overlooked safety precaution is to provide employees with the necessary clothing when entering the freezer. The dress doesn’t have to be more than cold weather tested pants, jackets, hats, and gloves to keep employees safe. If an employee is trapped in a freezer while wearing these clothes, he can withstand the temperatures until help arrives.
Last but certainly not least, all employers much train their employees. When employees learn about safety and the necessary precautions, they can minimize accidents. Employees can’t follow the rules without knowing right and wrong.
Freezer safety should be at the top of every employer’s list. From proper training and equipment to regular cleaning and maintenance, everyone can work together to keep each other safe. At PGS, we can help you with small-part maintenance on your walk-in freezers. We understand the investment you’ve made in this equipment. We want to help you get the most out of that investment. Contact us today for a free estimate.