Introduction – Play It Safe
The most expensive liabilities are the ones you don’t anticipate. Onsite injuries or emergencies can be a huge drain on your restaurant’s finances and reputation. In order to avoid excessive costs, a thorough assessment and action plan needs to be made to fit the particular needs of your restaurant. Further, safety must be a priority in every facet of your operation.
Be Self Aware
Start with your restaurant’s geography. Consider the perimeter and work your way in: do you have steps and inclement weather? Slips and falls are a serious liability not only for your staff but also for your guests. Are all areas of your restaurant’s perimeter well lit at night? Poor lighting can lead to a host of problems but is an area often overlooked. Conducting a physical walk-through with the perspective of identifying problematic areas, and anticipating conditions that could lead to problematic situations, is an indispensable start. Challenge your staff to join you and submit their suggestions.
When is comes to safety, bare-minimum will not cut it. Food is vital for life but also poses a threat to it. Restaurant owners must recognize this reality. Investing in life-saving training and equipment is the only viable option. Epipens are a prime example of a life-saving equipment. Restaurants are poised to face potentially lethal situations through accidental exposure to serious allergens. Most states allow restaurants to carry epipens, to be used in emergency situations. Confirm that your state permits you to hold epipens and then ensure that your staff is trained to use them properly. Further, CPR training is not typically required by law, but it should be required per your restaurant’s safety policies. As most states require that restaurants carry an automatic external defibrillator, it makes sense that your staff know how to operate it. This is one area you cannot afford to skimp.
The best way to learn is to perform that activity. Once a quarter, arrange for your staff to participate in a mock-run of various emergency situations. In addition to basic life-saving procedures, your staff should be aware of protocols for other emergency situations. Restaurants and clubs have been the stage for numerous tragedies in recent years. Although there is no perfect preparation for these types of situations, having a plan in place can be the difference between life and death. It is easy to think that your restaurant, in your area of the world, is exempt from this type of threat. That mindset is no longer tenable. No restaurant or neighborhood is beyond reach from natural or manufactured threats.
For your peace of mind and the general safety of all those connected to your restaurant, you must be prepared for dangerous situations. Low and high grade concerns must be met with serious consideration and strategic arrangements. Don’t get overwhelmed. Start with the basics and work your way up.
Challenge: identify one low-grade hazardous situation at your restaurant and go to your local hardware store today to purchase what you need to improve the current state of things.
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