Top 3 common costly claims for restaurant operators and tips on how to prevent them

Close up view of an avocado that is being diced with a knife

The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training your employees and having them stay.
- Henry Ford

Restaurants are ramping up staffing needs to meet loosening capacity restrictions and the opening of patio dining. With the current difficulty of finding applicants (not to mention retaining qualified staff) it may be tempting to sacrifice proper training in favor of quickly getting employees out on the floor and working.
Poorly implemented, rushed, or incomplete training of staff can lead to costly mistakes – including workers’ compensation claims, increased liability claims, and dissatisfied customers.

Here are our TOP 3 costly claims and tips on how to prevent them:

  1. Slips, Trips, and Falls

    Slip, trips, and falls can happen anywhere in a restaurant, and it is important to teach staff to identify and correctly address hazards that increase the chance of customers and co-workers being injured.
    Dropped items, such as napkins, utensils, etc. should be picked up promptly to keep walkways clear. Carpets, mats, and other floor coverings should be laid flat – train staff to notice if a corner has curled and correct it as soon as possible.
    Spills and other liquids should be cleaned up quickly. However, a spill should never be left unattended. Train staff to stand over or near the spill to alert others of the hazard. They should call a co-worker to get a mop or other cleaning options to pick up the mess.
  2. Cuts and Slices

    Kitchens are dangerous places. Proper training on use of knifes and slicers should never be overlooked – but it is also important to train staff to communicate their movements through the kitchen and the proper way to carry, clean, and store knives.
  3. Burns and Scalds

    Burns and scalds can also be avoided with proper training. Proper placement of pot handles on burners, how to remove a lid to avoid steam, and proper safety gear when dealing with ovens are all important training lessons.
    Dishwashing staff should also be trained on how to properly wash and sanitize dishes and use equipment to avoid scalds from hot water and steam. Make sure they have proper training on equipment and are using protective gear such as aprons and rubber gloves.
  4. BONUS! - Serving Staff Injuries

    There is a lot that goes into being an effective server and a lot of risk – from spills, hot plates, and loaded serving trays, it is important to properly train serving staff on the correct method of delivering food and drink. Serving staff need to be trained on how to properly carry loaded serving trays and hot items to avoid injury to themselves and customers. Common injuries include:
    1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    2. Burns and scalds from spilled hot food and drink
    3. Slips, trips, and falls
    4. Injuries from collisions

Servers should also be trained on what to do if a customer becomes angry and when to call for help. If delivering food curbside, additional training on parking lot safety, assault, robbery, and identifying tripping hazards such as potholes and cracks should be included.

For more information on employee and customer safety, training materials, risk assessments, and a review of your insurance policies contact your Trusted Advisor at Concklin Insurance Agency.

We also have 24-hour access to safety materials, employee handbooks, employee training materials, and more through our client portal!