SafeWork Australia reports that slips and falls are the among the most common causes of injuries in restaurant kitchens. Majority of these injuries happen from slipping and falling on the same level due to obstructions and slippery or greasy floors, which, in turn, lead to cuts, sprains, bruises, and fractures. You can provide a safe working environment for your employees by following these steps:
Evaluate High-Risk Areas
One of the best ways to prevent slips and falls in the kitchen is to perform a regular and proactive evaluation of high-risk areas like doorways, entrances, transition areas, and common areas.
Maintain Floor Mats and Runners
Choose the most appropriate kitchen floor mats according to performance requirements and location. For instance, the kitchen floor would require more special mats than the kitchen entranceway. Ideally, the height difference between mats and floor surfaces should be no more than half an inch to avoid trips. Make sure to scrutinise all runners and mats for curling, contaminant build-up, and general wear and tear.
Keep the Worksite Clean
Ensure that the restaurant kitchen is maintained properly. Develop your space and kitchen procedures to avoid exposing your employees to slip and trip hazards and reduce potential liability on your part. In general, make sure to:
- Contain tasks to prevent spills or splatter of oils, liquids, particles, or discharge onto the kitchen floor;
- Install sufficient ventilation to prevent steam and smoke build-up, as well as grease and water condensation;
- Install drip trays for containing potential leaks from kitchen equipment;
- Install slip-resistant kitchen floor mats and flooring;
- Install sufficient lighting;
- Provide effective work platforms and drainage; and
- Provide appropriate footwear to kitchen employees.
Slips and falls are the common causes of employee injuries in the restaurant industry and could be very costly. That being said, doing all that you can to prevent them from ever happening in the first place could go a long way towards reducing the risk of injury to your employees and your liability.