Restaurants are usually a frenzy of go, go, go as waiters take orders, cooks rush around preparing meals, and customers ask for extra pickles. With the high-pressure environment and near-constant multitasking, safety may sometimes take a backseat. But it’s essential to make safety a priority at your Atlanta restaurant – doing so can help you save money on your restaurant insurance (general liability, workers’ comp, and the like.) Safety helps everyone, employees and customers alike, avoid accidents. So here are our restaurant safety tips.
How safe is the food preparation area/kitchen of your restaurant?
The first area we’ll examine is the kitchen itself. Boiling water, sharp knives, slick floors…the kitchen is one rogue tomato slice falling on the floor away from a workers’ comp claim. Check out these tips – your kitchen staff will thank you.
- Plan out the food prep areas so no one has to strain or overreach.
- Train your staff on how to chop and dice so they can avoid stress injuries from the repetitive motion.
- Provide uniforms, hairnets, and gloves as well as the right utensils to get the job done.
- Make sure employers are wearing and using the approved tools and clothes.
- Provide chairs, footrests, or stools if needed so your staff can avoid standing for too long.
Are your employees lifting safely?
You probably wouldn’t wish a thrown-out back on your worst enemy. Lifting light or heavy loads could cause strain or injury if not done properly. Arms, legs, back – there are a lot of things that could hurt. Try implementing these lifting rules at your restaurant so everyone knows how to lift loads properly.
- Lift with your legs, not your back. That means you have to squat to lift the load.
- Bring heavy loads close to the body. This helps with balance and reduces the chance of muscle strain.
- Use tilt containers or get help when transporting fluids or heavy items.
- Have your supervisors lead by example.
Will your employees (or guests) slip, trip, or fall?
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of general liability claims. Guests could hold you legally liable if they get hurt on your premises. And if an employee gets hurt on the job, you’d have to file a workers’ comp claim. Check out these tips for preventing a slip, trip, or fall on your premises.
- Make sure your staff is trained to mop up and clean spills ASAP.
- Keep all walkways, the kitchen floor, supply room, and freezer clear of things that people could trip over. Provide clear paths and move obstacles out of the way – this is a restaurant, not an Olympic hurdling competition.
- Enforce proper ladder safety and train your staff to use ladders safely.
- Have your employees wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor each night.
Are you preventing cuts, burns, and lacerations?
The last thing you want is to hear a cry of pain coming from your kitchen. You don’t want to see any of your employees get hurt, so take these steps to prevent cuts and burns.
- Teach safe cutting, slicing, and dicing and spend ample time training new employees.
- Have refresher training for employees who have worked with you for a while.
- Make sure everyone knows how to use the appliances safely.
- Provide hand protection for cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping food.
- Don’t allow employees to wear loose clothing or long jewelry.
- Set up a protocol for using hot cooking appliances, grease, and water.
Do you prevent kitchen fires at your restaurant?
Unfortunately, many restaurants have met their doom because of kitchen fires. There are many ways that a kitchen fire can start and get out of control. Since flames are probably not the decorative look you have in mind for your restaurant, use these tips to lessen the chances of fire.
- Keep work areas clean and tidy.
- Have functional fire extinguishers on-hand and readily accessible.
- Train employees on how to use fire extinguishers.
- Have a no-smoking policy and enforce it.
- Create a fire-escape plan.
- Practice said fire-escape plan by holding fire drills (they’re not just for school children.)
- Teach all workers how to raise the alarm and call 911 in case of an emergency.
- Regularly check and maintain all fire equipment (sprinklers, etc.)
Your restaurant is supposed to be a place for relaxing and enjoying delicious food. Yes, your employees might run around like crazy to make that happen for your guests, but don’t forget to make safety part of your day. It might be a lot to remember as everyone’s cooking, waiting tables, and sidestepping each other, but if you implement a little bit of teamwork and look out for each other, you can make safety a matter of routine and get lower restaurant insurance rates.
Looking to get a restaurant insurance quote in Atlanta? We can help with that. We’ll help you shop for the best possible rate for your restaurant insurance. All you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.