The restaurant business is one of the riskiest businesses due to the physically demanding and high-pressure conditions that are common to these establishments. Workplace injuries can spell severe financial loss for any restaurant owner. Statistics show that an average of 4 workers’ compensation claims are filed annually per restaurant, with the average cost of such claims being about $50,000 per year.
Restaurant Insurance and Its Importance
The importance of purchasing coverage for your business cannot be overemphasized. All businesses, especially high-risk ones like restaurants, can suffer mishaps that have financial consequences that could run a small business off the market. Insurance protects you and your employees, as well as customers, should they suffer any injuries on your property.
With the high turnover rate in the industry right now, businesses that follow safety protocols and protection for workers will be able to retain them the longest.
The following are some of the common injuries in the hospitality industry and tips to protect your employees from them.
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
Cuts, lacerations, and punctures are common kitchen injuries due to the frequent use of sharp objects like knives. Wearing the appropriate gear such as cut-resistant gloves can help minimize the risk of such injuries.
It is also important to train your employees before they start working. Giving them adequate training and instructing them on restaurant protocols to be followed during emergencies can help minimize risks. Also, a novice using kitchen tools is a recipe for disaster, so employees need to learn proper techniques for handling these tools.
- Slips and falls
Spillage of oil, grease, or water can cause slips and falls, leading to serious injuries. Studies have shown that these injuries have risen to 300 percent since the 1980s and can cost a quick-service restaurant an average of about $6,000 per claim.
However, there are effective ways to prevent such accidents, like wearing non-slip footwear, installing non-slip flooring or rubber mats, and regularly cleaning the floors to keep them free of oils, water, dirt, and food particles.
- Sprains and strains
Employees will always be lifting, bending, reaching, slipping, or tripping, and these activities can cause strains and sprains. A good way to avoid this is to store heavier items between the chest and knuckle height for easy carriage. Many of these tasks can also be cut down through automation. For example, you can install automated systems that streamline or dispose the cooking oil instead of requiring employees to lift heavy buckets.
It is best to share manual lifting between two or more workers by splitting each load into multiple trips. Exerting too much pressure can lead to several health issues, even in the long run. Also, training the staff on proper manual handling skills is essential.
- Burns and scalds
Hot oils, water, and food can cause burns and scalds if they aren’t handled with care. Heat stoves, grills, ovens, and pots can also cause similar damages. Employees must be taught the proper way to handle fire and heat-related situations like keeping a reasonable distance between their bodies and a hot stove, pots, and pans. They must know the importance of wearing mitts before taking food out of the oven and turning off the oven when not in use.
Like all other businesses, the restaurant business comes with its own share of risks and opportunities. Having appropriate safety measures in place can protect you and your employees from avoidable accidents. At RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC (RMS), we can help provide coverage for your restaurant to suit your specific needs. Contact us today to get started!