Workplace injuries do more than increase your Restaurant Insurance costs. They cost your business in many other ways, such as lost productivity, lower morale, and more. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates the “total economic costs of work-related deaths and injuries” in 2019 at $171 billion, $1,100 per worker, and $1.2 million per death. Those figures include “income not received or expenses incurred because of fatal and nonfatal PREVENTABLE injuries.”
The good news – as the NSC points out – is that many of these injuries are preventable. Here are seven ways to minimize the risk of injuries – and the ensuing costs – in your kitchen.
Ensuring your employees are appropriately dressed can go a long way to preventing accidents and protecting the quality of the food you serve.
Providing or requiring closed-toed, non-slip shoes is essential to keeping workers safe in the kitchen. Closed-toed shoes help prevent cuts from falling knives and burns from hot oil. Non-slip shoes help prevent slips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27% of the nonfatal work injuries in 2018 that resulted in days away from work were related to slips, trips, and falls.
Personal Protective Equipment – such as gloves, oven mitts, and aprons – help prevent injuries such as burns. Properly-fitting uniforms - such as chef coats, cook shirts, and aprons – can help protect employees and minimize injuries.
Professionally laundered uniforms have been shown to provide superior cleanliness as opposed to home washing machines. Hats and hairnets keep hair out of the way and prevent food from falling into the food.
Again, 27% of work injuries result from slips, trips, and falls, and restaurant kitchens tend to be high-paced, busy places with employees constantly on the move. Therefore, anything you can do to keep your employees from slipping, tripping, or falling is essential to kitchen safety, making non-slip mats crucial for any restaurant kitchen.
“Having proper ventilation for your restaurant is imperative for employee and customer health as well as food sanitation,” FSR magazine states. “Improper ventilation can result in safety violations, higher utility bills, decreased employee productivity, and even flaring tempers from customers as well as employees. It can also result in loss of traffic due to unpleasant odors or uncomfortable conditions.”
Fire Suppression System
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “Restaurant fires accounted for about 6 percent of all nonresidential building fires reported to fire departments each year. These fires resulted in an average of less than one fatality per 1,000 fires, 11 injuries per 1,000 fires, and $23,000 in loss per fire.”
Deep fryers are involved in one out of ten kitchen fires. Pouring water on a grease fire is not a good idea as it can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire, and the vaporizing water may carry grease particles, which can spread the fire further.
Proper maintenance and cleaning of deep fryers help minimize the risk of fires, and installing a fire suppression system helps ensure that if a fire does occur, it is put out quickly and safely.
Kitchen Equipment, such as mixers, grinders, and slicers, are an essential part of most commercial kitchens, but they also present a safety risk. In a fast-paced environment or without proper training, accidents can happen. An easy way to avoid cuts or amputations is installing appropriate guards that keep fingers and hands out of harm’s way.
Signage can draw attention to potential hazards – such as a wet floor – and prevent injuries.
Good sanitation should be a top priority in any kitchen. One uncleaned filter can cause a fire. A spill that isn’t immediately cleaned can cause an employee to slip and fall.
Employees need to be trained on how to clean surfaces, equipment, and floors properly. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning checklists and schedules should be strictly adhered to.
When Injuries Can’t be Prevented
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, an employee is injured. Or a customer gets sick from a foodborne illness. Or a fire damages your kitchen. The right insurance helps protect you, your business, your customers, and your employees.
Give one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online. Not only will we ensure you have the right insurance, but we’ll also ensure you get it at the lowest cost.