Hazard Alert

Three workers injured when
restaurant kettle explodes

An electric 25-gallon (95-litre) floor-model kettle was being used to make soup in a restaurant kitchen. The kettle exploded without warning. Preliminary information indicates that a safety device, the pressure relief valve, failed to open. The explosion injured three workers and caused extensive damage to the kitchen.

image Injury 2008-27

The electric floor-model kettle — also known as a steam
jacketed kettle — before it exploded. The pressure relief
valve is shown inside the kettle.

Safe work practices:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the use and maintenance of kettles. Use qualified personnel to test and replace the pressure relief valves on kettles at least as often as the manufacturer requires.
  • Inspect all kitchen equipment regularly to prevent unsafe working conditions from developing. Maintain records of all inspections.
  • Inform all workers about the hazards created by the pressure buildup inside kettles. Do not allow any equipment to be operated without the manufacturer's safeguards in place.
Industry: Food Services

Relevant sections of the
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation*

Young or New Workers

3.23 Young or new worker orientation and training
(1) An employer must ensure that before a young or new worker begins work in a workplace, the young or new worker is given health and safety orientation and training specific to that young or new worker’s workplace.

Workplace Inspections

3.5 General requirement
Every employer must ensure that regular inspections are made of all workplaces, including buildings, structures, grounds, excavations, tools, equipment, machinery and work methods and practices, at intervals that will prevent the development of unsafe working conditions.

Buildings, Structures and Equipment

4.3 Safe machinery and equipment
(1) The employer must ensure that each tool, machine and piece of equipment in the workplace is

    (a) capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used, and
    (b) selected, used and operated in accordance with
      (i) the manufacturer’s instructions, if available,
      (ii) safe work practices, and
      (iii) the requirements of this Regulation.

(2) Unless otherwise specified by this Regulation, the installation, inspection, testing, repair and maintenance of a tool, machine or piece of equipment must be carried out

    (a) in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and any standard the tool, machine or piece of equipment is required to meet, or
    (b) as specified by a professional engineer.

4.6 Reassembly

If machinery, equipment or a structure is dismantled in whole or in part, and subsequently re-assembled, it must be checked by a qualified person and determined to be safe before operation or use.

* The sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation listed in this hazard alert do not imply a breach of the Regulation on the part of any party that may have been involved in this incident. The purpose in listing specific sections of the Regulation is to make readers aware of some of the applicable sections of the Regulation.