Despite the fact that a restaurant can serve as a relaxing and satisfying destination, this type of business can pose serious risks to employees and visitors alike. Every year, millions of people are injured in restaurants due to slip-and-fall accidents. Some incidents are relatively minor and go unreported; others, however, have serious and even fatal consequences. Fortunately, there are practical measures that restaurant personnel and property owners can take to promote safety and prevent painful slip-and-fall injuries.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall accidents are especially prevalent in the food service industry. In fact, it is estimated that slip-and-fall injuries are on the rise within the industry. Approximately 1 million restaurant guests slip and fall every year and 2 million more food service employees sustain slip-and-fall injuries. It is also estimated that fewer older food-service workers slip and fall than younger employees, but that their injury claims are more expensive. Considering the factors that contribute to slip-and-fall incidents within the food service industry, evidence suggests that wet and otherwise unsafe floors are the primary cause of injuries.
Restaurant managers, business owners and property owners are all encouraged to take slip-and-fall hazards seriously in order to protect employees and visitors alike. The National Restaurant Association offers professional and practical advice for restaurant owners, and describes some of the environmental factors that can contribute to unsafe conditions. Uneven flooring, wrinkled and/or improperly secured floor mats and wet surfaces can all cause people to slip and fall. That is why it is recommended that restaurant personnel implement and enforce safety measures that can include but are not limited to:
- Repairing and/or replacing uneven flooring
- Installing non-slip matting
- Following OSHA recommendations
Restaurant and property owners are also advised to have their premises audited for safety and tested for slip-and-fall risks.