Not only is it important to keep the food that you supply to your customers safe, it’s important to make sure that your staff has a safe environment to work in. Injuries due to a slip and fall are one of the most common reasons for food service workers to miss time, so we’d like to discuss how to prevent these painful incidents.
The MN Certified Food Manager’s Role in Preventing Injuries
A MN certified food manager needs to make it abundantly clear to his staff that their safety is a priority. Whether it’s by supplying them with the tools they need to stay safe or the training to perform their duties safely, preventing injuries due to slipping and falling needs to be a coordinated procedure between staff member and manager.
One common factor in many slip and fall injuries is the use of the wrong kind of shoes. It is important for food service workers to wear non-slip shoes specifically designed for the food industry. There are many kinds of non-slip shoes available, but we recommend that your staff wears shoes designed specifically to give the wearer good traction on wet and greasy surfaces.
Just wearing good, non-slip shoes does not completely prevent a slip accident. A kitchen supervisor must create an environment where these events are rare. A good start is to provide a perforated rubber surface for employees to stand on. These floor mats are readily available through most food service industry providers. We feel that these mats must be perforated in some way to allow grease to slip through to the floor beneath in the event of a spill. This will prevent liquids from pooling on the floor mats creating a slipping hazard.
Another important step is to make sure that the mats and floors beneath are cleaned on a daily basis. Grease and liquids can build up on your floor mats making them almost as slippery as the hard flooring surface beneath. The floors beneath must be cleaned with a degreasing agent on a daily basis to prevent the mats themselves from sliding underneath a worker’s feet as they move throughout the kitchen. Before replacing the mats after cleaning the floor, we strongly recommend that the floors be allowed to dry. Water and soap can take longer to dry if covered by your floor mats increasing the likelihood that they will slide during normal use.
Finally, clean every spill immediately. Don’t trust your floor mats to be able to prevent a slip after any liquid has been spilled. Being complacent could lead to a painful injury and lost work for one of your valued employees.