5 Simple Ways to Improve Restaurant Safety Practices

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Four chefs preparing food at counter in a row.
Safety Works

Are you looking for new ways to improve safety practices at work but don’t know where to begin? Are you perplexed as to what simple changes you can take to produce effects? The good news is there are many initiatives you can take to drive safety practices in the workplace today. The workplace offers new dangers on a day-to-day basis and thus many are forced to innovate new ways to safe. Here is a comprehensive guide on how you can get started, right now.

Here are five actual steps that anyone can take to improve safety practices at work:

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Chef cutting food on a cutting board.
Increase Training

Education is always key and safety training is paramount in the kitchen. These regimes aid personnel in becoming more adaptive and situationally aware. In the foodservice industry, this is especially the case with some of the exotic ingredients and substances used in this discipline. As a result of an increase in safety training, there is a decrease the likelihood of incidents. It’s simple, less accidents means less injuries and thus the overall safety of the workplace multiplies. Furthermore, there are less liability costs and down-time which means you can focus your assets on profits. Training also increases efficiency and productivity.

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Red fire extinguisher on brick wall.
Promote Fire Safety
According to Safety Services Company, knowledge of how to appropriately use fire extinguishment and suppression materials is imperative. This know-how is often the difference between a small contents fire doubling in size to a massive blaze, especially in a restaurant. Regardless of the size of the fire, damages do accumulate. Nevertheless, teaching employees how to use the appropriate materials to stop fires can save not just costs but lives. Furthermore, an action plan on how to handle a live fire situation is an asset in the event of emergency. If staff and personnel are more cognizant of what they are up against, they will be more equipped to stop a potentially horrific event in its tracks.
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Student performing lab experiment with safety goggles on.
Invest in Personal Protective Equipment

In the case of a spill of hazardous materials, personal protective equipment is a necessary tool to prevent exposure. In addition to PPE, introducing spill kits can also mitigate a potential calamity. Used in conjunction with fire prevention and extinguishment devices, spill kits can stop the spread of contaminants that can produce a wide range of disastrous effects. Investment in these articles is a great practice to undertake if it hasn’t been already.

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A restaurant employee washes dishes.
Practice Continuous Improvement
When restaurant workers know how to work safely, it becomes habitual. However, it also can breed complacency. Nevertheless, continuous improvement addresses this in an attitude and approach toward safety. Continuous improvement is the idea that there is always a better way to do the same task. In the realm of safety practices, continuous improvement implores employees to modify and augment existing safety measures even if it is already good. As a result, workers never rest on their laurels and derive even better strategies to tackle the same tasks in a safer manner. In the food service industry this is imperative because the standards are always being raised whilst regulatory guidelines are ever in flux.
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Chef cooking with a pot.
Establish Accountability

Accountability promotes vigilance in the event of an emergency. This is one of the oldest and more proven safety practices. In the food service industry, a chain of command is paramount to establishing order in the kitchen given the fact employees will be using live fire and flammable ingredients throughout the course of operation. Accountability systems aid in the implementation of response plans and a team-oriented initiative to safeguard the welfare of all.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

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