Burns

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by grasshoppa, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. grasshoppa

    grasshoppa

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Some of you may have seen my last post - anyway, I am a beginning line cook (and thank god I've been getting a good handle on it finally and the chef says he's sees a lot of potential in me and I've stopped making as many mistakes, still a lot but, but less). But now I have a question that might be stupid or who knows, but how often do you get burned/cut at work? It seems like almost everyday I have a new burn or cut on my arms and hands - usually nothing serious, and rarely anything that opens or bleeds (I get them covered and safe of I do get them that bad) but still, my forearms look like damn , leopard - spots everywhere. IS this normal or am I just careless? ( i try to avoid them but my station is largely a flattop and when I clean it off the grease gets me or during prep I'll nick my hand with a knife, etc)
     
  2. brewerjordan

    brewerjordan

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    when i started as a line cook i did the same thing, burning and cutting myself all day, every day. just pace yourself when you are around hot fat. or sharp knifes. you will quickly learn how NOT to do something, like cleaning a flattop, (i got one of my worst burns from hot oil off a flattop while cleaning it, three days after being hired)  there is also a soap, basic-H  i dont know what it is about it, but if you put it on a fresh burn and let it dry there, it will take the burn out and help your burn heal faster. good luck.
     
  3. leeniek

    leeniek

    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Cuts and burns are part of the job but don't have to happen every day.  Try and pace yourself like Jordan said and if you aren't comfortable with a knife, don't use it.  When I first started out I was completely uncomfortable with a big chef's knife, so I did my prep using a smaller knife until I felt comfortable enough with the larger one.  It didn't take long for me to see that I was doing things the long hard way so I made the transition fairly quickly. 

    Funny you should post about burns... I put my hand on the corner of the grill today and I have an L shaped burn on the palm of my hand now.  One of the people who was working fruits neglected to say "behind" when they were behind me and I turned around not knowing they were there, so when they bumped into me I did the instinctive thing and put my hand out behind me... well.. that was the corner of the grill.. ouch!  It was set to 250F and I iced it right away so I don't think it's going to blister but it did hurt like h*** for a while. 
     
  4. cheesenbacon

    cheesenbacon

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Man, if I could only count the scars....

    You don't have to be new to burn yourself.

    Cutting is a different story, and you'll realize that as your knife skills get better.  (huge by the way.... absolutely a must to have knife skills if you want to do this for the rest of your life). 

    And I disagree with Leeniek.  (No offense Leeniek), but MY personal approach is to practice the things you aren't good at the most.  As long as it's still safe or on down/slow time.

    But burns?   They will NEVER stop happening.  Eyeballs, forearms, all of your hair on the arms too, fingers, face, legs....  burns just happen man.  Most of the time, it's either a stupid mistake on your part, or somebody else burns you on accident.

    Get used to it.  8^)   Wear them proudly!
     
  5. leeniek

    leeniek

    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    No offense taken, cheese!  We all have a different approach when it comes to cooking and what works for one person isn't going to work for the other. 

    Speaking of burns the worst one I ever had was when I was working at Tim Horton's and I was helping out front for a shift (I was a baker there back in the days when they made their donuts in-store) I had set a pot of coffee to brew and I'm not sure if I hit the filter basket or my partner did but it fell onto my hand while it was brewing.  Of course silly me was more concerned with the mess I'd just made rather than taking care of my hand until the manager made me go into the back and put it under running water.  I took really good care of it and while it was a second degree burn it didn't leave a lasting mark. 
     
  6. titomike

    titomike

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    As Cheese points out burns are accidents and cuts are mistakes. 'Bleeding for the company' is part of the job don't expect too much sympathy as the crew just sees the station going weedward.../img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif

    My worst at work was similar to Leeniek's when I flipped a container of molten sauce over my hand. Discovered that night that freshly peeled, chilled potato skins to be a practical emergency treatment for a bad one...they're actually a user friendly shape to fit to your hand/arm. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    174
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    If you are working behind hot line. Wear long sleeves not short. Always have a box of baking soda. If you get a burn make a past with it and water put it on burn it will ease the pain &  stop the blistering . Most of all be careful and like driving, watch out for the other guy.
     
  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    410
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    The line cooks and Sous get burns and cuts, The Chefs have to worry about saddle sores, they never give us a comfortable chair for the office. I remember a Chef I knew about 25 years ago had a recliner in his office, I have a strange feeling he didn't get burned, or cut very much............The only time I get cut, is if I'm using a dull knife, most of the burns come from sheet pan coming out of the oven. I had a fryer cook try to pick floating fries out of the oil with his fingers, that was his last day...................ChefBillyB
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  9. leeniek

    leeniek

    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    What was that fry cook thinking... picking fries out of hot boiling oil?  I can see why that was his last day...

    Neither the KM or I spend enough time in the office to worry about the chair but it is comfortable!  I think I spend more time on it than the KM does as I'm the one who does the schedule.  My biggest gripe about the office is the fact that I have to spend ten minutes tidying the desk before I can sit and get some work done as it's a bit of a clutter catcher. 
     
  10. skatz85

    skatz85

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    19
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    its all part of it, got a pretty nasty one the other day. was tryign to flip this trout on the flat grill and weent too low and got my pinkie took skin right off. cuts and burns just come with the job. aloe works well and one of the jobs they have an aloe plant and we put it on burns. i think im gonna invest ine one.
     
  11. grasshoppa

    grasshoppa

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    ya I figured I'd have to live with burns... I've been more careful, but the other day the new guy burned me with the fryer basket because he turned the food out with too wide of a motion... now I have black crisscross pattern on my arm...that bastard haha....
     
  12. cheesenbacon

    cheesenbacon

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    it might last a week.  boo hoo.  hahaha   you'll learn to love and laugh about it.  8^)
     
  13. shunofthedead

    shunofthedead

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I agree with the less cuts always the burns comment, as my knife skills got better I cut my self far less, but I always have spotted forearms, the worst is when you know you are going to get burned because you are trying to save something form getting messed up or messy, but you cant stop yourself from going for it. be proud of them battle scars.
     
  14. semperfemme

    semperfemme

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I'm just like you Grasshoppa.  I've only been on my cook job for a little over a month and I have more scars on my arms than I had during my entire childhood. I not only do prep work, but also man the pizza ovens and toss dough- so a lot of my injuries come from that 400 degree monstrosity.

    I think Chef assumed I was going to "go all girl" (his words not mine) when I got my first big burn, but I just slathered it in honey, put on some gauze and a bandage, slapped on a glove and got right back to work.

    I honestly didn't know that I shouldn't wear short sleeves- it just gets so hot back there. I'll definitely be putting in an order for a jacket when I get paid.

    Keep on truckin Hoppa. *toasts*
     
  15. cookinmt

    cookinmt

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I started working in high-volume breakfast joints at 14 years old, and at 30 now I suppose that means I've spent over half my life surrounded by half-asleep yet caffeine-juiced monkeys, who wildly swing scorching hot egg pans full of bacon fat in one hand, while clumsily brandishing dull chef's knives in the other.  Needless to say, at this point all the real estate from my elbows to my fingertips is certified heat-resistant, kevlar-plated, and hideous.

    Don't get me wrong:  I'm not careless.  I was careless--at least for the first few years of my career when I accumulated a solid base of knife scars--before I fully gained the respect you need for both your cutlery and the blistering temperatures of your environment.  Still, caution and respect will only go so far.  While I can say with confidence that I haven't cut myself in well over a year (cut as in an actual cut, not an incidental ding), the burns are still always there, looming on the horizon, just waiting to brighten your day.

    Case Study #1:  Yesterday, I went to stir a pot of black beans another cook had left simmering on my stove.  Mind you, I didn't peer into the pot as I did it, or do it distracted and hastily.  Still, the stars aligned just right at that moment:  the beans gurgled and a taught bubble broke just as the metal paddle twisted through them, and a single errant glop of scorching legume magma flung like a missile over the lip of the pot, through the air, and landed directly on my eyeball.  Note I didn't say eye-AREA.  It hit my eye-BALL.  Ouch.

    Case Study #2:  A few months ago, a long-time friend and co-worker was kneeling in front of the fryer, giving it a solid cleaning.   Another co-worker, who is no longer a part of our staff, was scrubbing the griddle to his side.  She was sloppy, inattentive, and rushed, and as she jammed the red scrubber against the side of the grill amidst the gallons of oil she used to clean it, naturally a geyser of oil erupted up onto her hands and--whoops!--over the side and all over my poor friend's unexpecting head.  Haha! 

    Obviously we long-timers can't make a big deal out of incidents like this.  We rarely notice the little ones, and more often than not, we brag about the big ones.  Still, it only goes to show that you can try as hard as you want, be as cautious as you can, and you'll still get burned.

    Welcome to the club!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  16. hausfrau

    hausfrau

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I totally agree...it comes with the territory.  I have learned to say..."if I wanted pretty hands, I've picked the wrong career".

    I am quite proud of being able to walk into the emergency room without a drop of blood on my whites or my board when I had to get cauterized.  Losing the top of my thumb was a bit of a shock.  Lesson learned:  don't hold a knife if you are in a negative head space.

    Question:  is honey a good burn cure?  after ice I would presume.
     
  17. semperfemme

    semperfemme

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Honey is an antibacterial and humectant. It also, for reasons unknown to me, seems to wick the heat right out of a burn. You'll feel the area warm up really quickly and then all of a sudden the heat is gone and, with it, the burn pain. *shrug*

    The same has been said about butter, but it's too greasy and gets everywhere where as honey will just stay put.

    I've never put Ice on a burn before. LOL! Go figure. I should try that next time.
     
  18. cookinmt

    cookinmt

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Hmm.  Well, I''ve never tried honey, so I suppose I should look into it.  Over the last 3-4 years I've stuck to a "home remedy" I learned from one of our hispanic pantry boys:  a healthy slather of olive oil, followed with two shots of lemon juice and a fifth of tequila.  The later two are consumed, of course.  To be honest, it does little to ease the pain of the burn (I'd suggest the olive oil actually makes it burn worse), but it's done wonders for both the prevention of burn scars and my disposition.

    :)
     
    ridethespiral likes this.
  19. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

    Messages:
    3,207
    Likes Received:
    155
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    I can't speak for home remedies but what I was taught in school (other career)

    Cool the burn - run cool water over the area for about 10-15 minutes (never use ice)

    Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage.

    Don't use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can further damage the wound.

    Don't apply butter or ointments to the burn. This could cause infection.

    Don't break blisters. Broken blisters are more vulnerable to infection.

    Just my 2 cents  
     
  20. left4bread

    left4bread

    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    27
    Exp:
    mgmt
    It's hard not to pop the blisters for some people, but I learned as a doughnut fryer that the wounds heal faster when bandaged and left alone.  Less scarring too.  Consider them zits, I guess. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Anyone besides me been told to hold the fresh burn over an open burner until it hurts so bad you can't stand it?  I know it sounds masochistic.  I guess the idea is to burn the nerve endings?  Anyways, with liabilities and whatnot these days, I would never suggest it to anyone *cough*...  Just curious if anyone has heard that one before.