From stove top burns to cuts from broken glass, restaurants and bars present a host of potential accident and injury scenarios. As the owner or manager of such an establishment, you must make safety a top priority for employees and customers.
Below, we dive into the details, discussing several workplace safety measures you and your employees should take to create and maintain a safe working environment.
1. Get the Right Insurance Coverage
First and foremost, you must have the right insurance coverage to protect your property, your staff, and your customers. No one likes to think that anything bad will happen, but when it does, having insurance to defray the cost of medical expenses or damages can save your business.
To protect your staff, you will need workers compensation insurance for restaurants and bars. You’ll also need liability and property insurance to cover any accidents or injuries that occur inside your establishment.
The last thing you want is to be without adequate coverage if something happens, as it could spell the end of your business if you can’t cover the damages out-of-pocket.
2. Keep the Floors Clean and Dry
The sheer nature of a bar or restaurant means the floor is almost always a mess. However, you must stay on top of spills and wet footprints to ensure no slip-and-fall accidents happen. Clean restaurants are far safer for customers and employees alike, so don’t ignore any messes you see on the floor. Get them cleaned and dried as quickly as possible.
3. Train Your Staff to Be Safe
Many safety measures are common sense, but providing safety training for all staff members is a great way to remind them to do what they can to stay safe at work. Safety training should be part of your onboarding process.
You should hold periodic safety training seminars whenever your workers need a refresher or if OSHA regulations change drastically. It never hurts to remind your employees and even to reward them if they’ve maintained a safe working environment without incidents for extended periods.
4. Learn Fire Safety
The risk of fire can be high in a restaurant or bar, especially if you fry food in oil. You must train your staff in fire safety, including how to put out a grease fire, how to use a fire extinguisher, and where to go if evacuation is imminent.
Ensure multiple fire extinguishers are located around the building – not just in the kitchen. Provide or require proper attire to avoid loose clothing and other items from catching fire near the stove, and let your workers know where the main power switch is, so someone can turn off the power if a fire does break out.
5. Teach Proper Cleaning Procedures
Your establishment must be spic-n-span at all times. It must meet specific safety guidelines set forth by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These agencies work together to craft, regulate, and enforce the laws governing food safety in restaurants and bars. Training your employees to wash and sanitize dishes, disinfect surfaces, and clean bathrooms properly will ensure everyone stays safe and healthy on both sides of the register.
Restaurants and bars present unique safety hazards that workers must be aware of and appropriately trained to handle. The tips above should ensure your staff and customers are safe and healthy while working in or visiting your establishment.