Outside of having a cost effective restaurant insurance program in place your restaurant needs to operate without mishaps and injuries to your employees as this can cost you greatly. As I previously explained your restaurant experience modification affects your restaurant workers compensation rates, the other area that directly affects the cost for workers compensation are your restaurant workers compensation claims. A critical element of your overall strategy to reduce your costs should be to focus on how you can reduce your restaurant workers compensation claims.
Having the proper measures in place will help ensure workplace safety. However, even in the safest workplaces accidents happens. Since accidents do happen, it is not possible to eliminate all injuries and their resulting claims.
Here are some helpful tips to help reduce your restaurant workers compensation claims.
Burn Injuries: As many as one-third of occupational burns occur in restaurants, totaling about 12,000 reported cases per year.
- Avoid overcrowding on the range tops
- Set pot handles away from burners, and never stick handles out over the edge of the range
- Avoid loose clothing when working around ranges, ovens, or machines
Lacerations: Cuts and punctures (most frequently to hands and fingers) are some of the most common injuries reported in restaurants.
- Provide knives that are the right size and type for each job
- Place a non-slip pad or damp cloth under cutting boards
- Keep fingers tucked on the hand that’s holding the food when cutting
Sprains & Strains: Improper lifting and repetitive motions are often associated with sprains, strains, and tear injuries in restaurants. Sprains and strains are easy to prevent, if workers follow a four step approach to proper lifting.
- Size up the load – Never lift anything unless you know where you’re going to put it down
- Lift – Keep your head up, your back straight and bend at your knees and hips and lift with your legs, not your back
- Move – Keep the load close to your body & Look where you are going
- Get Set and Lower – When setting a load down, let your leg muscles carry it down and make certain your fingers and toes are clear before setting the load down
Slips, Trips, & Falls: In restaurants, common sources of slippery floors include dish washing over -spray or runoff, leaking equipment or pipes, food debris, and spillage from transport of open containers (such as those holding fryer grease and food waste).
- Clean up spills immediately (spilled or dropped food, grease, oil, and water can be extremely dangerous)
- Place warning signs when mopping or if a slipping hazard is identified
- Use non-slip matting, no-skid waxes and coat floors with grit, especially in greasy areas
Develop a sound safety program that emphasizes job safety during employee training. If an employee does become injured, you should share the common goal of getting the employee returned to work as soon as possible. Having a greater control of instituting and enforcing preventive measures and injury management procedures can help reduce your restaurant workers compensation claims.
My next article in this series will discuss workers compensation cost containment strategies.