7 Tips for Avoiding Slips and Trips in Commercial Kitchens

Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common causes of workplace accidents. In fact, between 2003 and 2015, 386 Australian workers died due to slip-and-fall accidents, and over half of these accidents were caused by environmental factors. If you run a commercial kitchen, you need to be especially careful about avoiding slip, trips and falls. To do that, keep these tips in mind.

1. Use an Extractor Fan

At first glance, an extractor fan does nothing to prevent slips and falls. After all, it removes air. It doesn't deal with the floor. While that may seem reasonable, it is not true.

An extractor fan can remove moisture and oily residue from the air, reducing the chance that the moisture will get on the floor and create a slippery situation. By extension, an extractor fan is arguably as important as a floor drain.

2. Employee Splatter Guards

In most commercial kitchens, you use a lot of grease. Depending on the type of food you serve, you may have deep dryers and lots of pans. To minimise oil splatters, use oil splash guards. Put lids on pans whenever possible, and remember to put a cover on your deep fryer as well.

3. Clean Floors Nightly

Even if you're diligent about using the extractor fan and your splatter guards, some oil is going to get on the floor. If it builds up, you can get a very slippery situation. To prevent that from happening, make sure that you clean the floors in your restaurant nightly. Use hot water and soap to remove the grease, but remember to rinse thoroughly to ensure you get rid of all the grease.

4. Install a Stainless-Steel Floor Waste

To make cleaning the floor more productive, you should consider installing a stainless-steel floor waste. This is simply a floor drain that you can use to drain your mop water. Additionally, if you spill anything on the floor, which is inevitable in a commercial kitchen, you can clean it up more easily if you have a drain.

A plumber can help you choose the right drain for your kitchen. They can also consult with you about whether or not you need a grease trap attached to the drain. Beyond that, make sure that the grate fits flush with the floor so that it doesn't cause anyone to trip. For more information about stainless-steel drainage gates, get in touch with a company such as Hydro Construction Products.

5. Keep Clutter and Debris at Bay

When you dump a bucket of mop water onto the floor, you don't want it to ruin a bunch of cardboard boxes or food in other containers. To ensure that doesn't happen, you should always store food and other items above the floor on pallets or shelves.

However, you should also keep clutter and debris at bay to help minimise slips and trips. Ideally, you should look carefully at the workflow in your kitchen. Then, you should make sure that you clear these areas of all obstacles. Don't assume that workers will see obstacles. If their hands are of full of items, their field of vision is not going to include their feet, and they may trip.

6. Keep Employees Involved

Employees need to be proactive if they want to avoid slips and falls. Educate your employees about the risks, and create a checklist so that they go through all the steps of cleaning the floor and avoiding spills. If they are involved in their own safety, you can focus more on running on business.

7. Wear the Right Shoes

Finally, shoe choices matter as well. Ideally, your employees should wear slip-resistant shoes with sturdy soles that help to keep your employees upright. If you have waitstaff who wear high heels or dress shoes with slippery soles, you should have them stay out of the kitchen or request that they were different shoes.