Slip and fall accidents can end up being much more costly than a pricey emergency room bill. They require you to juggle employee schedules, plan for coverage, and could even cause you legal trouble. For those reasons, it's critical for the success of your operation to keep your crew safe. In order to help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents, here are five important tips to consider.

  1. Choose Nonskid Flooring

    A nonskid flooring material is essential in a restaurant. This is especially true in areas that are often wet from splashes, spills, and cooking. Quarry tile is nice, but poured, epoxy, and grit floors are optimal. If you're planning on updating or renovating your establishment in the future, opt for a floor treatment that can help you prevent accidents.

  2. Keep the Floor Clean

    All the fail-safe precautions are great, but keeping the situation from happening in the first place is fundamental. Set a policy that says your kitchen staff must sweep debris by hand into the trash, rather than tossing leftover tomato skins or cucumber slices onto the floor. This can help reduce the risk of falls. After all, the best way to clean up a mess is to avoid one in the first place.

  3. Take the Right Precautions When Cleaning

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration dictates the rules on this one. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, when floors are cleaned, "drainage shall be maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places should be provided where practicable." You should also consider putting out signs that warn guests about wet floors, or go one step further and use a cleaner that has a nonskid element mixed into it.

  4. Require Nonslip Shoes

    There is a style of safety footwear for everybody. Many manufacturers even offer corporate discounts to restaurant staff who are purchasing shoes to help prevent slip and fall accidents. Shoes for Crews, Mozo, and Dansko are three key players in the nonslip shoe market. Vans now even offers nonslip, stylish footwear for more fashion-forward restaurant workers.

  5. Set an Example

    It's important to set an example for your employees and push the importance of safety. For instance, if you step over a spill, give employees a verbal warning. If you see someone not wearing protective footwear, send them home. Keeping employees safe is a must, and in the end, letting staff know that you're interested in their safety can go a long way toward employee retention. Celebrate accident-free stretches and reward workers who follow and stick to the safety rules you've set.

    Consider these tips when creating, adopting, and enforcing a safety program that helps reduce the risk of slips and falls in your establishment. An effective program can help you establish a safer working environment and protect your employees from slip and fall accidents.