Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common accidents for restaurants from patrons or employees. All represent potentially expensive claims, and even lawsuits if a customer or third-party experiences injury or property damage. Thanks to the amount of people in your restaurant, the speed in which staff need to move, and wet floors and tripping hazards, accidents are a given, but they don’t have to become commonplace.
Here are some things you can do to prevent slips and falls in your restaurant.
Perform an Audit
This isn’t a financial audit, but a floor and walkway audit. Look for hazards — potential or current — and make a note of them. Get feedback from your staff who will have encountered problems that might not be obvious during your walkthrough. A few examples you may find in your audit include:
- Rippled or worn mats that are tripping hazards
- Places where water collects — at the front door due to weather, by drink stations, in the kitchen near sinks, etc.
- Anything that blocks staff from easily navigating the front and back of the restaurant.
Correct or Repair Problems
From your audit, you should have a list of known problems. Now it’s time to correct them, like replacing worn out mats or fix them. Repair uneven walkway spaces. Replace mats with adhesive-backing alternatives to avoid bunching or moving. Re-configure workstations and spaces to avoid hazards.
Create Procedures for Cleaning and Maintenance
You and your staff need a procedure for cleaning up spills or tracked in water quickly and identifying repairs or problems that could cause a slip, trip, or fall. Make a floor and walkway audit something that is done on a schedule — monthly or quarterly. Have employees report potential problems immediately. Keep a schedule of when certain floor care needs to be done to improve traction.
Designate Preventative Measures
Not all slips, trips, and falls can be prevented but many can. Employees need footwear guidelines so they wear shoes that will prevent slipping. You also need wet weather policies so that known wet spots, like the front door, can be quickly cleaned up or signs can let customers know about a potential hazard. Your staff also needs to know what to do when there’s a spill — clean up, slip prevention, hazards signs, etc.
Have an Incident Procedure
Despite your best efforts, someone will fall in your restaurant. Make sure you have an incident procedure in place. A manager or team lead should be available to help fill out an incident report. If you have surveillance cameras, use those for documentation of what happened. Witness statements will need to be taken.
This information not only helps you gather information about what really happened, it’s also what your insurance provider will want to know in case of a filed claim, whether it’s your liability coverage or your workers’ comp coverage.
Make sure you have the right type of insurance for your restaurant for when someone falls and hurts themselves as well as enough coverage. Contact Charlotte Insurance today. We can go over your current policy and provide a free estimate for new and better insurance coverage.