Running a restaurant is hard work. Your customers enjoy the delicious food and the atmosphere of your establishment, but they don’t witness the behind-the-scenes chaos that goes on to make it all happen. And along with the whirlwind that is working in a restaurant comes the need for safety. Restaurant safety in the kitchen helps your employees avoid injuries, but it comes with the added bonus of helping you save money on your Birmingham restaurant insurance. So, to help you improve safety at your dining establishment, we’ve got a some quick tips.
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Take a look at our restaurant safety checklist for your kitchen.
How to prevent food preparation/kitchen area accidents:
First of all, let’s talk about the kitchen. It definitely needs a dose of restaurant safety.
Hmm. Hot ovens, sharp utensils, slippery floors from the sinks, boiling pots and pans…then add the general hullaballoo of feeding a large number of guests…what could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot, frankly. So check out our kitchen safety tips.
- Organize your food prep area in such a way that your employees don’t overreach or strain.
- Spend time training your staff in cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping. The goal is to avoid repetitive stress injuries – and missing fingers.
- Make sure to provide uniforms, hairnets, and gloves.
- Provide chairs, footrests, and stools as needed so that your staff don’t have to be on their feet all day and can sit when they have to.
- Make sure to provide the tools your employees need to do their jobs and avoid injury.
Prevent lifting injuries:
Having a sore back or throwing out your back is absolutely no fun. That sort of pain is the kind you wouldn’t wish on anyone, let alone an employee. The thing is that the back is extremely complex, and even the slightest tweak or injury can cause pain. And arms and legs can also be injured.
Here are a few tricks you can teach your employees to help them avoid lifting-related injuries.
- Use your legs, not your back, to lift the load. Squat to pick up the load. Carry heavy loads close to your body. This will help your balance. It also lowers the odds of muscle strain.
- Make sure your managers are also using proper lifting techniques and teaching them to employees.
- Transport fluids or other heavy items by using a tilt container (or teamwork.)
- Provide tools such as carts or dollies for moving boxes and store them safely out of the way when not in use.
Prevent slips, trips, and falls at your restaurant:
Another part of Alabama restaurant safety is preventing falls. Slips, trips, and falls can result in a hefty general liability or workers’ comp claim in a split second. A guest could hold you liable if they get hurt in your establishment, and if an employee is injured by a fall that would be a claim against your workers’ comp policy.
At any rate, try out the following tips to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
- Teach your staff that spills need to be mopped and cleaned right away. You don’t need a banana peel moment in your kitchen or in the dining area.
- Make sure your staff knows to keep all walkways clear and free from obstacles. That includes the kitchen, supply room, freezer, and even the dining room. Your restaurant should not be an obstacle course.
- Train your employees on ladder safety and make sure they’re climbing safely.
- Encourage your employees to wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Mop and sweep the kitchen floor every evening.
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Take steps to prevent cuts, burns, and lacerations:
Okay. You probably want to avoid blood, right? Be sure to prevent cuts and burns in your kitchen. Minor injuries happen in the kitchen when cooking, but why not just head them off before they happen?
- Provide new employees with lots of training, especially with cutting, slicing, and dicing. Remember what we said earlier – you do not want any missing fingers in your kitchen.
- Conduct regular training “refreshers” on safety for current employees.
- Ensure that everyone is comfortable with the appliances and knows how to use them safely.
- Make long, loose clothing and jewelry against the dress code.
- Provide hand protection for employees when they cut, slice, dice, chop, and mince.
- Have a protocol for using hot cooking appliances, grease, and water.
How to prevent restaurant kitchen fires:
It’s difficult to overstate how destructive fire can be. Kitchen fires can start all-too-easily with all the flammable items and heat sources in a restaurant. Use the following restaurant safety steps to reduce the chances of a fire.
- Train employees to keep work surfaces tidy and dry.
- Have fire extinguishers on-hand in places that are easy to get to. And make sure the fire extinguishers all work.
- Make sure your employees know how to use fire extinguishers.
- Don’t allow smoking and enforce that rule.
- Make sure you have a fire escape plan.
- Hold fire-drills (yes, adults can do fire-drills, too) to practice your fire-escape plan.
- Keep your fire equipment (sprinklers, fire extinguishers, etc.) in good condition and have it maintained.
- Train all workers to call 911 and raise the alarm in case of emergency.
Restaurants are always go, go, go. Between cooking the food, bringing the food to guests, and fetching extra ketchup for the picky customer at table three, there’s a lot going on. But don’t put kitchen safety on the back burner. Restaurant safety will help keep your employees and guests from injuring themselves, and it can also help you save money on Birmingham restaurant insurance.
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You can also save money on restaurant insurance in Alabama by shopping around for the best rate. Our team of agents at Birmingham Insurance can help you get multiple quotes for restaurant insurance so you can compare coverages and price. All you have to do to get in touch is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.