Hospitality - Restaurant Risks
MEMIC data shows the following are areas of concern in the restaurant business. It also lists solutions that — if put into practice — can help make your place of business safer.
Restaurant workers constantly move food in bulk, rearrange tables and chairs, carry and serve food, and perform cleaning tasks. The handling of materials during these tasks contribute to overexertion, strains and sprains, and repetitive motion disorders. More than 30 percent of restaurant injuries can be traced to the moving of materials. The following simple safe work practices can prevent many of these injuries.
Effective Supervision and Safety Management Methods
- Use and maintain lift-aid equipment such as hand carts, dollies, and stationary rollers rather than lifting and moving bulk materials by hand.
- When materials must be moved by hand, use appropriate body positioning. Avoid lifting from the floor level. Avoid extended reaching away from the body when moving materials. Avoid lifting overloaded trays, especially in awkward positions. Get help to avoid heavy lifting.
- Implement a stretching program. Appropriate stretching will help workers to loosen muscles and avoid the injuries that come as a result of handling stock.
Well-trained supervisors will manage well-planned jobs and will ultimately produce safe, efficient and productive workplaces. Research shows that many supervisors are promoted into a supervisory position because of their technical ability or their productivity. This does not mean that he or she is ready for the human relations challenges ahead that will lead people to work safely and productively.
- Supervisor Training. Train your supervisors in human relations skills, behavior-based management and their responsibility toward safety. MEMIC can help through our two supervisory management training programs.
Personal Protective Equipment
Using the appropriate personal protective equipment can prevent troublesome injuries such as knife cuts. Use the following:
- Whizguard gloves
- Anti-slip sole shoes
- Safety goggles
- Provide bloodborne pathogen training and materials
More than 20 percent of injuries result from a worker falling or a worker being struck by a falling object. Slippery floors, particularly in kitchen areas, contribute to most falls. Housekeeping practices that result in unobstructed and clean walking surfaces can prevent a significant number of injuries. We recommend the following tips to prevent falls:
- Supply anti-slip sole shoes and/or apply anti-slip USDA-accepted coatings for floors, or special grating.
- Keep up with repair of loose or worn floor coverings, clean up spills, and remove snow and ice.
- Teach your employees to think safety while climbing stairs, and using ladders.
- Keep floors and work areas clear of debris, electric cords, overstocked product, and be aware of equipment that can trip co-workers.
Storing and Stacking
Nearly 15 percent of restaurant injuries are related to workers being struck by objects, especially during the stacking and storing of goods and supplies. To help avoid these accidents, you should:
- Design storage areas to prevent congested aisles and delivery areas. (Avoid stockpiling near doors, passageways and walkways.)
- Assure that objects stacked on shelves do not hang over the edge of the assigned shelf. Limit the stacking of the top riser shelf to one level. Assure that all risers are anchored securely and cannot be moved.