Safety Tips for Hospitality Workers

These days hospitality workers, especially chefs, cooks and wait staff need to be extra cautious of safety issues and concerns. The standard rules, regulations and health codes have changed extensively over the years to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, as well as injuries. A great deal of the workforce is comprised of younger aged employees who are less experienced that more seasoned employees. Ineffective safety practices can result in illness, injuries and even fatalities.

Following proper safety procedures can provide a safe and pleasant environment for all: management, supervisors, employees and customers as well. It is crucial to understand that both prevention and commitment to safety will be extremely beneficial in preventing workplace hazards. Adhering to your company’s safety plan will ensure for safety and harmonious environment for all.

Most places of employment should have a safety standard in place. You should always ensure you are aware of any changes or additions to these policies. A lot of businesses provide safety training and courses as part of their orientation or induction programs. Below are some standard safety tips that every employee should follow:

  1. If you are not feeling well, call in sick. You could be at risk of exposing others to your illness, especially if it is airborne. Also you won’t be at your best and this could result in personal injury or even injury to others should your judgement be impaired due to illness or side effects from any medications you may be taking.
  2. Never use equipment that you have not be trained on, certified, or approved to use. These include but are not limited to compactors, meat slicers, forklifts or any other such equipment. Some equipment requires certification and some even have strict age restrictions. Not only could you be seriously injured, but there could also be legal ramifications should an accident arise.
  3. Take care of your body. Ensure that you have proper footwear that is both comfortable and safe. Some companies provide slip resistant shoes, however, if they don’t you can find them for an affordable rate. Slip resistant shoes alone can prevent accidents and serious injuries. Slipping and falling is the number one cause of work-related injuries! Compression tights are also a plus.
  4. Take your required breaks. Know your rights as to what breaks you are entitled to, and ensure that you take them – as busy as you might be, taking breaks actually improves productivity.
  5. Stay hydrated. It is imperative that you drink plenty of water to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to feel weak, which leaves you prone to accidents.
  6. Only lift what you can carry comfortably. Lift with your legs and make sure to carry the load at waist level. Ask for assistance if needed.
  7. Take your time. Rushing and not looking where you are going can lead to serious accidents. Always be aware of your surroundings.
  8. Immediately mop up any spills. Be sure to mark them with a safety sign. Again, slipping and falling is the number one cause of injuries.
  9. Wash your hands frequently, after breaks, restroom trips, coughing, sneezing, touching your face, etc. Wear gloves when you can and change your gloves often, especially when you are switching from one task to the next.
  10. Use caution with hot objects. Use hotplates, oven mitts and trays to avoid burns. Be extremely cautious with hot liquids, such as soups and hot beverages.
  11. Wear a hairnet if required. Pull your hair back to prevent it from falling into your face and blocking your vision, or worse yet, falling into food items. Also wear safety goggles when necessary.
  12. Always practice knife safety, for cutting, handling, cleaning and storage. This applies to any sharp objects, such as scissors. Use mesh gloves when cutting if provided and always make sure to cut using the proper techniques.

Remind yourself of the above regularly, and stay safe in the workplace!