5 Strategies to Reduce Restaurant Workplace Injuries

Owning a restaurant can be a risky business, especially if potential workplace hazards are not identified and addressed. That’s why it is important for restaurateurs to have an injury risk management plan. More than just a safety or operations manual, an injury risk management plan is a document that predicts risks, estimates any potential impacts, and defines responses to injuries that could threaten the business.

Here are five strategies for reducing injuries for your restaurant that can help reduce on-the-job injuries or illnesses:

1. Identify potential “problem areas”

The first step to reducing the chance of workplace injuries is to identify potential hazards. Here are some of the common restaurant safety risks and ways to mitigate them:

2. Provide training for all employees

Restaurant injury risk mitigation plans shouldn’t just apply to certain employees, such as kitchen staff. They should address all employees, front of house and back of house. All workers should receive training on how to handle equipment safely and how to prevent injuries to themselves and others. In addition, be sure to review comprehensive safety procedures that address the problem areas identified during the risk management analysis. The best training includes a mix of both theoretical and hands-on practice.

3. Keep the restaurant clean and organized

It may sound obvious, but keeping the restaurant clean and clutter-free can help reduce the likelihood of a workplace accident, such as a slip, trip or fall. Make sure equipment is properly stored when not in use. Stockrooms should be organized, with heavier items in easy reach. Keep walkways and entryways cleared of debris, and regularly sweep, mop or vacuum floors.

4. Maintain restaurant equipment

Equipment such as dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, meat slicers, blenders, and coffee makers are essential to a restaurants operation. Make sure equipment is regularly serviced, well-maintained and has all guards in place to help prevent employee injuries.

5. Make sure to carry the appropriate licenses and insurance

Restaurateurs are required to carry certain credentials, such as a business license and food service (and in some cases, alcohol) permits. In addition, it is important for employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which helps cover business loss and out-of-pocket costs should employees get sick or hurt on the job.

Risk mitigation should be an ongoing priority for all business owners in the food service industry. By having an injury risk management plan, restaurant owners can focus on other important things such as what’s on the menu!

Recap: 5 Strategies to Reduce Restaurant Workplace Injuries

  • ChecklistIdentify potential “problem areas”
  • ChecklistProvide training for all employees
  • ChecklistKeep the restaurant clean and organized
  • ChecklistMaintain restaurant equipment
  • ChecklistMake sure to carry the appropriate licenses and insurance