Close this search box.

How to Reduce Slip and Falls in Your Restaurant

Reduce slip and falls in your restaurant with Restaurant Technologies - serving customers nationwide

From bubbling fryers to sharp knives, restaurants are full of safety hazards. However, two of the most common causes of injury in the foodservice industry have nothing to do with high-risk kitchen equipment; according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slips and falls account for roughly 4 million injuries to employees and guests each year. Not only can these accidents jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of anybody in your restaurant, but they can also disrupt daily operations and lead to costly claims. 

To protect your staff and guests while keeping your business running smoothly, it’s critical that you take precautions to reduce safety hazards in your restaurant. Here are some ways to take slipping and tripping off of your menu:

Identify Safety Hazards

No two restaurants are exactly alike, which means each has its own set of slip and fall hazards. Regularly inspecting your kitchen and dining areas will allow you to identify and address safety threats that are unique to your space. Follow these steps to pinpoint high-risk areas in your restaurant:

Conduct Routine Inspections

Regardless of their industry, all employers should conduct thorough initial and routine inspections to identify new or recurring safety risks. However, especially considering all of the dangers associated with a busy kitchen, foodservice businesses should take extra precautions when conducting a workplace hazard assessment. The NFSI has put together a checklist for common tripping hazards in restaurants, but here are some key safety risks to look out for:

  • Uneven floors or missing tiles
  • Unsecured rugs, carpets, or mats
  • Exposed electrical cords or cables
  • Abrupt changes in traction in walking areas
  • Regular moisture from spills, splashes, or weather
  • Slick surfaces from oil or grease spills
  • Lack of adequate lighting or handrails
  • Blind corners or cluttered walkways

Consider Hazards During Emergency Situations

Though day-to-day operations account for the majority of slips and trips in a restaurant, emergency situations can pose serious safety risks that employers should account for when identifying workplace hazards. Particularly in the instance of a kitchen fire, it’s crucial that your evacuation routes are easy to navigate even in smoky or low-visibility situations. To prevent slips, trips, and other accidents during an emergency, be sure to check for:

  • Clutter blocking emergency walkways or exits
  • Stairs or uneven flooring along evacuation routes
  • Missing signage for emergency exits or evacuation routes
  • Missing visibility tape for high-risk areas along walkways

Save on Your Insurance Premiums.

Get end-to-end cooking oil management & clean hood solutions to help you create a safer, more successful business.

Investigate Injuries and Close Calls

Even with careful planning, accidents are always a possibility. Taking note of injuries or close calls will allow you to address any safety risks that were missed during the initial hazard assessments. Should a trip or fall occur in your restaurant, examine the surrounding circumstances to see if there are any ways to prevent a similar incident in the future. Regularly checking in with your employees is another great way to see if there are any areas in your restaurant that need safety improvements. 

Make Repairs and Provide Safety Equipment

Once you have gathered information on any trip and fall risks in your restaurant, it’s time to implement solutions. For most businesses, this involves making repairs and installing or providing appropriate safety equipment. Some of the best ways to reduce slip or trip hazards include:

  • Providing or requiring non-slip shoes: According to one study, non-slip shoes can reduce the rate of slipping by 55%. Providing or requiring slip-resistant shoes or shoe coverings is an easy and affordable way to significantly reduce your staff’s risk of injury, especially in the BOH.
  • Repairing damaged flooring or rugs: A missing floor tile or upturned rug corner is all it takes to trip an employee or guest in your restaurant. Taking the time to make necessary repairs to your flooring is one of the most effective ways to reduce trips and falls according to the NFSI. 
  • Installing high traction flooring: Slips occur when there isn’t enough friction between the shoe and the floor, which is why high traction flooring is an excellent solution. Placing NFSI-certified mats or other flooring products in high-risk areas – such as near the dishwasher or fryers – can help significantly reduce the risk of slipping. 
  • Using bright tape or glowing strips where needed: Brightly colored tape or glowing strips can help you draw attention to stairs, unexpected steps, uneven flooring, or other tripping hazards. They can also be helpful for illuminating walkways in low light areas or along emergency evacuation routes. 
  • Installing adequate lighting in all spaces: According to the Centers for Disease Control, low light areas are at a much higher risk of trip or fall injuries. Without adequate lighting, workers and guests are unable to properly anticipate and react to potential hazards. Investing in quality lighting is an easy and cost-effective way to reduce injury. 
  • Providing necessary safety signage: Particularly in a restaurant where spills and splashes are common, appropriate safety signage is critical. Every foodservice business should have signs for wet floors, emergency exits, fire safety equipment, and any other general warnings that your space may require.

Implement Daily Cleaning Tasks

Guests and employees will have trouble safely navigating your restaurant if it is cluttered and full of tripping or slipping hazards. However, it is up to your staff to maintain a clean and safe workspace during everyday operations. To reduce their risk of experiencing an accident, implement routine cleaning procedures such as:

  • Wiping up all spills immediately
  • Using appropriate safety signage where needed
  • Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming every day
  • Removing any clutter from walkways
  • Eliminating grease buildup from floors
  • Securing any upturned rugs or wrinkled carpet

Properly Manage Cooking Oil

Roughly 60% of all BOH workers’ compensation claims are linked to cooking oil. From splashes to grease buildup, there are a number of ways that poorly managed cooking oil can lead to trips, slips, and other serious injuries. Though daily cleaning procedures can reduce the risk of an accident, the best way to protect your employees is to streamline your oil management system. 

Enlist the Help of Your Staff

Injury prevention is a team effort. That’s why you should work closely with your employees to ensure they are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to protect themselves and guests from safety hazards. Ways to involve your staff in trip and fall reduction include:

  • Providing adequate training: Take the time to brief each new recruit about risks they may encounter and procedures they should follow to avoid trips or falls. It may also be valuable to invest in training programs from reputable organizations such as NFSI to ensure your employees have everything they need to succeed.
  • Encouraging communication: Especially in a busy kitchen with large appliances and limited visibility, collisions between employees are a common cause for injury in restaurants. Teaching your employees to communicate openly as they navigate the workplace will prevent these accidents. Additionally, your employees should alert others of safety hazards as they develop, such as fresh spills or greasy spots on the floor.

Regularly requesting feedback: Your staff spends every day in the dining and kitchen areas, so they will be the first to notice any potential risks. Routinely inviting them to provide feedback on potential hazards is an excellent way to ensure you are alerted should a safety risk develop.

At Restaurant Technologies, we strive to provide safer and smarter solutions for storing and handling cooking oil. From hands-off disposal to automatic cleaning to scheduled delivery, we’ve developed a variety of products and services designed to keep workers safe while eliminating the dangerous, labor-intensive tasks of everyday grease management.

View our solutions to learn more about how Restaurant Technologies can improve the safety and efficiency of your restaurant.


Restaurant Technologies - Cooking Oil Delivery and Recycling for Commercial Kitchens by Restaurant Technologies Serving Customers Nationwide

How Can We Help You Today?
Let's Get Started!

Page translated
Translated using machine translation. To change languages, please visit the footer.