Dr. John E. Aoki, M.D. CHCQM, FABQAURP
Chief Medical Officer
Injuries from slips and falls are one of the most common accidents in the restaurant industry behind lacerations and burns. In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 296,130 injuries from falls in U.S. Not only are these injuries common, they are also expensive. The average workers compensation costs related to slips and falls is about 14% higher than the average cost of other injuries.
Slips and falls can result in many different forms of injury, from sprains or cuts to serious head, neck, and back injuries. Recovery can be as simple as a bandage, but also as complicated as surgery to correct spinal cord damage. The best method for preventing these types of injuries is to follow safety guidelines and protocols in the workplace.
5 Ways to Prevent Injuries from Slips and Falls:
- Wear proper, slip resistant footwear. About a quarter of falls in the restaurant industry are due to employees wearing the wrong type of footwear.
- Use mats. Entryway mats and mats that cover floors that are exposed to moisture are an easy way to help employees stay steady on their feet. Using mats properly is also important as mats can also lead to injury if they are not properly placed and maintained.
- Maintain a sturdy ground. Look around your workplace to ensure that the ground is solid. If there are areas of high wear (torn carpets, worn out mats, cracked or raised floor boards) report the area to your management staff for repairs. If you are opening a new restaurant, consider starting with flooring that is recommended with high traction.
- Stay in the clear. Make sure that high traffic areas have a clear path for employees and customers to walk through.
- Keep it Clean. Clean spills and messes up immediately. Caution other employees and customers with proper signage of a wet or slippery area. Use the proper cleaning solutions to absorb the mess.
Make sure all employees are properly trained on all safety protocols at the time of hire and provide refresher trainings several times a year to ensure that staff is well prepared. Employees should also be trained to bring any safety issues to the attention of their supervisors for evaluation and correction.
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