Restaurants and commercial kitchens are full of dangerous equipment, and it’s often easy to cut corners with safety protocol in the name of expediency. Small cuts, near-slips and bending forward a little too far are commonplace and easy to rationalize as “just the way it is.” However, continually pushing the limits of safe work practices could be a recipe for disaster, and the next mistake could be life-threatening for an unlucky employee.
Why Are Restaurants and Kitchens So Dangerous?
Foodservice workers are surrounded by sharp knives, heavy loads, slick floors and food processing machinery that could claim a finger or an arm. Additionally, the nature of the industry constantly pushes employees to work among these hazards with speed and urgency in the name of superior service. Owners have a responsibility to find and guard against dangers before they find themselves facing a workers compensation lawyer Raleigh NC.
How Can Restaurant Owners Keep the Environment Safe?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires every employer to provide a safe, clean environment for their workers. In a restaurant, this includes identifying, labeling and protecting against hazards like dangerous substances and equipment, raw foods and wet floors. Foodservice managers also need to rigorously train and review safety procedures and emergency management with employees.
How Can Food Service Workers Do Their Part?
During the rush, most food service workers are not under direct supervision. Therefore, they have a duty to themselves, their co-workers and their customers to abide by their training. They should hold themselves accountable for performing their jobs and handling all equipment correctly and safely.
Almost every chef, server and busser has a burn scar to show or an embarrassing recount about how he or she slipped in the dining room with a full tray of food. The stories are usually entertaining until someone is seriously hurt. Foodservice owners, managers and employees should all work together and share accountability to help keep the entire team healthy.