Restaurant Managers: Here’s How to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Kitchen

Female restaurant manager with tablet giving team talk to waiting staff

Slips, trips, and falls accounted for 27% of the 888,220 nonfatal work injuries that resulted in time off, in 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 In 2018, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show about 7,850 injuries were caused by slips, trips, and falls in restaurants.2

Most falls occur on a level surface. Loss of traction between a shoe and the walking surface or contact with a fixed/movable object can lead to falls and injuries. Most, if not all, of these incidents are preventable.

Causes of Kitchen Slips, Trips, and Falls

The most common causes of slips, trips, and falls, including those that occur in restaurant kitchens, include:

  • Wet, greasy, or recently polished or waxed floors
  • Spills of liquid and food materials
  • Oily, greasy, or muddy shoes
  • Presence of electrical cords or cables
  • Moisture from rain, hail, snow, ice, or frost
  • Wet leaves or other plant matter
  • Changes in traction along walking surfaces
  • Uneven floors or missing floor tiles
  • Unsecured carpets, rugs, or mats
  • A lack of adequate lighting

Easy Prevention Methods

You can prevent falls and injuries at your restaurant or facility with good housekeeping. Otherwise, the risks of employee injuries and time out of work increase. As do the chances of paying higher insurance rates and incurring regulatory fines and legal penalties.

Slip, trip, and fall accidents can be prevented by taking these steps:

Clean Spills Immediately

Wet floors in food preparation areas, restrooms, and general walking surfaces pose a danger to employees and others. Using microfiber mops from Prudential Overall Supply whenever there is a spill or otherwise wet floor mitigates the risk. The longer you wait to eliminate the hazard, the higher the chances of someone inadvertently contacting a wet surface and slipping.

Mark Wet Areas

A “Wet Floor” sign provides a clear indication of danger when the hazard cannot immediately be eliminated. For example, if you’ve just mopped a floor, it will take time to dry. People generally see such demarcations as a means to avoid a hazard they know about.

Create a Mopping Schedule

A bit of planning ensures everyone knows what needs to be done, by whom, and when. By creating a mopping schedule, you can prevent a buildup of slippery materials. This is especially important if you have an active kitchen.

Make Sure the Kitchen Is Brightly Lit

Fewer injuries occur when work areas are well lit. Workers can then see and avoid slip hazards. Also make sure light switches are visible and easily accessible. Make sure all lighting fixtures, switches, and cords are in good repair and replace those that aren’t.

Do Regular Tripping Hazard Inspections

Your housekeeping program should include inspections accounting for wet/slick areas, moisture sources (such as leaks or water being tracked in by foot), lighting issues, potential sources of spills, and the types of footwear your employees are wearing. The type and condition of flooring surfaces must be accounted for as well.

Make Sure Flooring Has No Bumps or Cracks

Uneven floors, damage to flooring materials, and changes in walking surfaces are common causes of falls and injuries. If necessary, repair, replace, or recoat the floor as soon as any problems are found. This protects workers who spend all day on foot.

Require Non-Slip Footwear

industrial kitchen

Slick soles and loose shoelaces can easily trigger a fall. Workers should wear properly fitting, non-slip footwear suited for the types of surfaces in your restaurant. It also improves comfort and helps reduce fatigue.

Place Non-Slip Mats in Areas Near Common Spills or Water

Installing a slip-resistant mat is the fastest and most affordable way to modify a surface to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Some mats have flow-thru designs to allow water to drain. Others have oil and grease resistant surfaces or coiled zones to reduce fatigue and discomfort.

Order Floor Mats and Uniforms from Prudential Overall Supply

We are a leading supplier of restaurant uniforms, non-slip floor mats, and cleaning supplies. Our mission is to focus on safety and cleanliness, as we provide the most effective protective gear and cleanroom services in the industry. Order floor mats and uniforms today or call 800-767-5536 for more information.