All employers throughout the United States must create a safe working environment according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For restaurants, this means keeping all staff safe from the potential hazards they face daily. From slips and falls to enforcing cleanliness standards, employer safety guidelines need to be set and implemented to protect employees and patrons.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly three million workplace injuries occur every year. Of that number, nearly 2.8 million–or 97 percent–of those injuries occurred in service industries including restaurants, bars and coffee shops- making it crucial for restaurant leadership to enforce proper safety standards.
Restaurant Safety Essentials
Here are some examples of restaurant safety guidelines and how employers can protect their staff.
Shoes can be safety gear by themselves. Shoes protect legs and feet from falling objects or spills, which can have dangerous effects like burns and scratches. However, certain shoes can present hazards for employees on their own. If an employee doesn’t wear the proper footwear, they could end up slipping and falling.
Even when there are no spills present, some flooring types could be slippery. Sharp objects, hot surfaces, and other variables can present dire consequences for employees who endure a simple slip.
Restaurant leadership should enforce particular shoes with the right traction be worn during shifts, such as shoes with rubber soles. Rubber maintains a good grip on various flooring types used in restaurants, such as wood and concrete. This potential for injury creates the need for a Restaurant Insurance Program to protect restaurants from costly claims. Simultaneously, this also highlights the need for proper footwear and effective leadership.
Safety with Knives
Restaurant kitchens of all kinds contain many different sharp knives that employees use to prepare food. Knives are an important tool for any kitchen, and they can pose major safety hazards when not handled properly. Knife safety starts with having proper storage for the knives in the kitchen when they are not in use. Ensuring proper storage will help to minimize accidental injuries and keep the kitchen organized and functional.
Restaurants can use large magnetic strips to hold knives in clear and visible sight. It’s also important to note that apart from their knives’ storage, it is crucial to ensure that employees use the right blade for the intended task.
Emergency Equipment for Employees
Accidents can occur even when everyone observes restaurant safety standards and uses safety equipment correctly. When these problems occur, it is important that the people in the workplace understand how to use emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers. The knowledge will help prevent further harm.
For example, using emergency equipment to put out a fire will prevent it from spreading throughout the kitchen and cause more damage in the process.
Electricity has the potential to kill and even cause fires throughout a restaurant. It’s important for restaurant managers to ensure that the electrical equipment used in the restaurant is properly functioning and installed. Any cables that carry electricity should be insulated. If a restaurant has any faulty wires exposed, the employees should not handle them and should seek assistance from management on how to proceed.
Restaurants are busy workplaces, even as states slowly reopen following the COVID-19 crisis. From lunch rush to dinner rush, employees can be bogged down with multiple tasks. Stress can affect a worker’s thinking and can hinder their focus and effort. The lack of concentration is a major factor in the occurrence of accidents. Someone may forget hot oil in a pan or to clean up after cooking, which can lead to potential injuries.
In this case, it’s essential for management to encourage their employees to approach their supervisors on any stress-related issues. It will help to ensure they have a healthy mind and work environment when handling their duties.
About Irving Weber Associates
At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful restaurant business. Our Restaurant Advantage Program ensures that they are financially protected against claims, and offers comprehensive nsurance coverages including General Liability, Liquor Liability, Property Liability, Food Contamination, Delivery Errors & Omissions, Commercial Auto and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.