• Dispensing Freezers, also known as soft serve machines, dish out over 188,000 jobs across the United States annually.
  • An OSHA violation carries a max penalty of seven thousand dollars. The real damage to a fast food establishment is it’s reputation.
  • Work place hazards related to manually cleaning dispensing freezers may include; handling sharp hardware, repetitious movements, lifting heavy buckets causing back ailments, exposure to toxic cleaners and an increased slip-and-fall hazard due to spilled liquids.
  • Automated cleaning practices can directly impact reduction of workman comp. cases, personal injury litigation and 3rd party liability claims.


Improving Work Place Safety Through Automated Cleaning of Dispensing Freezers

The top priorities at fast food establishments that use dispensing freezers are optimal customer service, food safety and desirable product. A top priority for employees is optimal work place safety, especially with strict enforceable OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations.

For the fast food industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 3.5 injuries per 100 full time workers, higher than the national average of 3.3 for all industries.

A single serious OSHA violation carries a maximum penalty of $7,000. The real damage of an OSHA violation to a fast food establishment is not financial but rather its reputation.

OSHA’s work place hazards include both the food service equipment and the ergonomic work environment. The equipment hazards related to manual cleaning and sanitizing a dispensing freezer may include: 1) handling of sharp, heavy or awkward hardware components that may result in cuts, lacerations, or bruising, 2) repetitive overuse activities resulting in upper extremity strains and tendonitis, 3) forceful use of the hands or overexertion resulting in strains and sprains, 4) contact/mechanical stress, ie, prolonged kneeling on a hard surface causing joint pain, and 5) exposure to toxic cleaning/sanitizing chemicals resulting in respiratory, skin and eye irritation.

Ergonomic hazards include: 1) standing for long periods of time in one position on a hard surface, 2) working in an unnatural or awkward position, 3) lifting and carrying heavy buckets of liquid (all three may result in muscle/joint strains and lower back ailments), and 4) slipping and falling on spilled liquids resulting in contusions and possibly fractured extremities.

Lead The Way, Safety Today

The obvious remedy to fixing the hazards related to manual cleaning is to minimize the physical burden to the employees through equipment and work practice solutions.

These solutions are provided by automated cleaning and sanitizing of dispensing freezers with devices such as the Hydra Rinse Cleaning and Sanitizing System by IdeaBoxx. The lightweight Hydra Rinse Pro-controller not only minimizes direct human contact during the cleaning process but provides a much safer work environment to the entire cleaning process and other employees in contact with the cleaning area. The aforementioned equipment and ergonomic hazards that can result in physical injuries are significantly mitigated.

The cleaning/sanitizing formulation, LEXX, used in the Hydra Rinse system, is based on safe naturally derived ingredients. Pre-measured pods eliminate the process of mixing chemicals. The use of an automated dispensing device, i.e., the Hydra Rinse portable light weight wand, avoids lifting and carrying of heavy buckets of liquids and potentially hazardous floor spills.

Besides improving on the work place safety standards that OSHA demands, automated cleaning of dispensing freezers will most likely have a direct impact on significantly reducing workman’s compensation cases, personal injury litigation, and third party liability claims.

Safe Practices to Protect Your Rep.

General manual cleaning of dispensing freezers is becoming obsolete. The overall reputation of fast food establishments will certainly benefit from automated cleaning of any and all food service equipment under their care.

Weigh in….Do you think automated cleaning practices would benefit your business?  Ask a question or leave a comment below.  

Dr. Gary Russotti MD, MS

Idea Boxx – Director of Medical/Biochemical R&D and Regulatory Compliance

  1. “Caution Sign”, Slippery Slope, https://www.socialsciencespace.com/2014/08/the-slippery-slope-dumbing-down-into-secondary-schools/
  2. International Dairy Foods Association, “Ice Cream Trends and Sales”, http://www.idfa.org/news-views/media-kits/ice-cream/ice-cream-sales-trends