Tips for Preventing Slips, Trips, & Falls in Your Commercial Kitchen
There are innumerable hazards in a commercial kitchen environment that cause slip risks resulting in costly and timely ramifications. Environmental, Health and Safety Today describes outcomes as negative for all involved yet can be avoided if preventative procedures are applied.
Ways to avoid slips, trips, and falls:
- Equipment Maintenance
- Cleaning Protocols
- Types of Flooring
This list can help shed light on the potential risk and save businesses the time and money associated with sick pay, compensation claims, and increased insurance costs.
Awareness, Training & Footwear
Employers are responsible for creating awareness for their workers by implementing systems that prevent slip hazards. To create awareness employers should assess their specific concerns and ask why they contribute.
Consider Why They Occur:
- Are your floors wet, greasy, and affected by high-traffic?
- Are there specific areas that accumulate condensation, slick conditions? (I.e. Bathrooms, entryways, around ice or beverage machines)
- Are there established standard operating procedures for day-to-day cleaning and are they posted in areas that employees can see?
- Are employees communicating safety awareness throughout shifts?
- Are they wearing slip-resistant footwear?
Consequently, you can better gauge what forms of prevention are right for your business by asking these questions. By creating awareness during training and day-to-day operations, your employees can implement systems that make your work environment safer, cleaner and ultimately more efficient and effective.
By maintaining kitchen equipment such as fryers, dishwashers, ovens, ice machines, and beverage dispensers restaurants can reduce the possibility of leaking water, oil, or grease and thus the risk of slip hazards. Therefore, if these leaks do occur, it is important for employees to be aware of and address them efficiently and effectively to clean and dry floors (Food Management).
The type of flooring composition used in back-of-house conditions can greatly contribute to the causes and frequency of slips. OSHA considers the causes of slips to include “concrete, marble and ceramic tile” or any “highly-polished floors [to] be slick even when dry” as well as “sloped walking surfaces...without slip-resistance” and “loose...or shifting tiles” (OSHA).
Furthermore, they state that “water, grease, oil, and food” (OSHA) cause slips as well as the methods used to clean them. Traditional mopping can sometimes make the slick conditions worse. Food Management suggests that operators consider “study the floors” and “install high traction flooring” (Food Management) wherever and whenever possible to ensure proper slip-resistance.
When Choosing a Back-of-House Flooring and Cleaning Procedure Consider:
- Is your floor slip-resistant when dry & clean?
- What about when it is wet & soiled?
- Does your floor have recessed edges or loose tiles?
- Are the floor transitions smooth?
- Are your cleaning practices ensuring ice/water spills and grease build-up are dealt with appropriately & timely?
By choosing the appropriate flooring and cleaning practices for your specific conditions, you can prevent slips and their associated burdens.
By considering these various factors, you can save yourself the headache of dealing with slip hazards and its associated costs. Furthermore, there are many preventative measures you can take to ensure efficient and effective standard operating procedures in your work environment today.
Learn more about slip-resistant and extremely durable flooring that can be installed over existing floors and overnight.
“Avoiding Safety Hazards in Restaurants.” Food Management, 27 Apr. 2017, www.food-management.com/build-better-operation/avoiding-safety-hazards-restaurants.
“Slips, Trips & Falls.” United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy07/sh-16625-07/slipstripsfalls.ppt.
Smith, Sandy. “Food Service: Slips and Falls Are NOT on the Menu.” EHS Today, Environmental, Health and Safety Today, 2 Mar. 2016, www.ehstoday.com/safety/food-service-slips-and-falls-are-not-menu.