Employee writes on chalk board in restaurant

6 Tips for a Safer Restaurant

John Doe goes to work one morning at the family-owned restaurant on the corner at which he is a server. He’s wearing his everyday sneakers—they’re a little old and worn but no big deal, no one looks at your footwear of choice in a dimly lit restaurant right? As he pushes aside the swinging twin doors to the kitchen he’s caught by the surprise of a recent spill one of the prep cooks made on the floor and hadn’t had a chance to wipe-up. With the slip of a step, John’s worn out sneakers take him crashing to the hard, slick floor—knocking his head as he falls back.

Now there’s got far more than just a spill on the floor in need of cleaning, there’s an injured worker to tend to.

How could this have been prevented? Surprisingly, easily enough. With slips, trips, and falls causing the most injured in the restaurant workplace, taking the proper preventive measure to keep employees safe is crucial and not as tricky as it sounds. Here are a few simple steps to implement at your restaurant to help stay accident free:

  1. Require all employees who work in and around the kitchen area where spills and slippery floors are prominent, to wear certified non-slip shoes to work.
  2. Regularly inspect the floor—this includes not only the potentially slick kitchen, but any carpeted dining areas. Look for worn out sections, loose material, debris, etc. Always stay on top of spills, and clearly mark soiled areas with an alerting object such as a cone before walking away to retrieve cleaning materials.
  3. Cuts and lacerations are extremely common in restaurant settings, where knives are a typical work tool. Ensure that the proper protective gloves are easily accessible and heavily stocked for employee use. (If a cut does occur, make sure it is suitably cleaned and bandaged to avoid infection).
  4. Proper lifting techniques, when it comes to duties such as stocking and unloading deliveries, are imperative to avoid back injury. Train employees on the proper ways to lift and bend—this can be done by simply showing a demonstrative video on the technique.
  5. Ladders are also a common mishap—it may be bad luck to walk under one, but it’s even worse to fall off one. Train employees on their use—such as how to correctly lock them into place before climbing up.
  6. Close encounters with hot objects—such as oil and stove tops—happens all too often in the restaurant industry. Luckily, this risk can be minimized by providing personal protective equipment such as gloves, face-shield, and protective clothing when working around hot oil and hot work surfaces.

With a safer work environment you’re now free to focus on other important stuff—like what’s for dinner?

Let EMPLOYERS help educate you on how to better protect your employees, because fewer workplace injuries result in lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums. We provide our policyholders with Loss Control Connection, which offers with a number of easy-to-use resources—such as training materials, safety and health posters, and newsletters and brochures—to help you improve job safety performance.