Safety alert 07/2012 - 16-year-old kitchen hand received burns while cleaning chicken rotisserie tray

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

A kitchen hand in a fast food outlet received superficial thickness burns to her legs, thighs, knees and feet after spilling hot water mixed with oil from a chicken rotisserie tray.  The kitchen hand was cleaning the tray that captures the water and oil from the rotating chickens.  The spout to the tray that syphons off the hot water and oil was missing. The kitchen hand was not wearing footwear capable of preventing burns.

Contributing factors 

  • The rotisserie was in need of repair and maintenance.  The spout was missing and the spout hole had been welded over, so workers were unable to empty the tray appropriately.
  • Instead of being able to use an appropriate safe system of work, the workers were emptying the tray on an angle to drain the hot oil and water.
  • When the worker attempted to pull the rotisserie tray out to put it on an angle, the entire tray came out and spilt hot water and oil onto her legs and feet.
  • The oil and water in the tray had not been cooled down sufficiently before attempting to clean the tray.
  • No personal protective equipment was provided to protect the worker feet from spilt oil. 

Action required 

  • A risk assessment on all tasks must be performed by the employer or person in control of the workplace.
  • Provide information, instruction, training and supervision of safe systems of work.
  • Repair and maintain all plant as per manufacturer’s specification and design.  
  • Allow hot water and oil to cool down sufficiently before cleaning.
  • Personal protective equipment such as full-length PVC apron along with industry specific clothing should be worn to protect a worker’s legs, body and hands.
  • First aid must be administered. 

Further information 

Further information relevant to the fast food industry can be obtained from WorkSafe’s website or by contacting customer service on 133 307 877 or emailing

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident.  WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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