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4 Best Practices for New Employee Safety Training in Restaurants

Workers' compensation cases are one of the most significant losses of revenue in companies. Training your employees to be safe, even when the job isn't considered dangerous, is essential. In a perfect work environment, injuries wouldn't happen, but being prepared is the best practice

While there are many good ways to go about this, here are four of the best methods to train new employees.

Clarify Company Safety Policies and Procedures

While proper training is always a significant first step, sometimes things can become overwhelming for new employees. Be open and available to new employees to address any questions they may have. Thoroughly explain health, wellness, and safety procedures that are relevant to your restaurants. 

OSHA training is key for a safe work environment for new employees. There are many standards that require employers to thoroughly train and certify employees in specific safety aspects that correspond with their position.

Related: What to do in the event of an OSHA inspection

Practice Restaurant Fire Safety

The U.S. Fire Administration reports roughly 5,600 restaurant fires every year. Cooking is the leading cause. Ensuring that kitchen staff members are attentive around cooking equipment is the simplest way to prevent fires. 

There are some measures that can be taken when it comes to fire safety in your restaurant. 

  • Be sure to have multiple fire extinguishers throughout your establishment. Also, ensure they are the proper grade of extinguishers.
  • Purchase appliances with a fire suppression system. These systems can help prevent a fire that could potentially cause damage and injure employees. 

Need help providing certified OSHA training? Arrow Up offers online training for OSHA and COVID-19 safety in the workplace.

Operate Restaurant Equipment Safely

Restaurant equipment safety is a crucial part of training your new employees. Ensuring that they know how to properly and safely operate the equipment that your restaurant uses is a must. Here is a quick checklist to help ensure your new employees and equipment don't cause an emergency. 

Dirty stove burner
  • Be sure all employees who will be using the kitchen equipment are trained to properly use it according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Avoid electrical hazards. Educate the team and keep electrical equipment away from areas that could become wet. Be sure to check often for any damage to the cords or appliance. If there is any damage, be sure to have your team ready to respond and follow procedures. 
  • Keep appliances in top working condition. Be sure to have your appliances inspected regularly. Regular inspections keep them working order and help prevent employees from injuring themselves or others while using the equipment.

Related: Online Courses Safety Programs

Managing Employee Health 

When it comes to illness at the workplace, being proactive will ensure your guests' safety and the health and wellness of your employees

Encourage employees that are not feeling well to stay home and follow doctors' recommendations. When an employee feels ill while at work, send them home to prevent the illness from spreading. Be sure to disinfect where the employee was working that day.

Personal Hygiene for Employees

COVID-19 regulations have changed everything. Now more than ever, personal hygiene should be brought up during training. Be sure to go over the proper handwashing etiquette. Be sure the restaurant is appropriately stocked with soap and that any hand sanitizers are at least 60% alcohol

Review Injury and Illness Reporting Protocol

While still in the hiring process, employees should fill out some form of emergency contact information. Properly training new employees on what to do in case of an emergency is also essential. 

Review the procedures of what to do when an injury or illness occurs while on the job. Explain to employees how they will participate in the process. This is also a perfect time to go over worker rights and responsibilities that are granted by the law

Address Previous Training and New Training Specific to Your Restaurant

Talk to your new employees about what previous safety training they have gone through. Some employees might still have their certification from learning these things prior. Gauging their understanding of established safety measures will inform you what further training they will need. It will also determine if these new employees need a refresher course. 

If their position will utilize any personal protective equipment (PPE) while they are on the job they will need to be trained about how to use these items properly. Even eyewash stations have educational courses that new employees can go through. Review the information that goes with the equipment that will be available for the new employees' use. Employers are responsible for issuing the appropriate equipment and that it is in proper working order.

Kitchen

Identify Emergency Procedures and Hazards

Ensuring that your new employee is familiar with the restaurant and where they will be working. Thoroughly show the employee any associated work area hazards and the safe way to work around these areas. 

Show and explain how to properly use emergency safety equipment. There are training courses available for these types of equipment, such as eyewashes, first aid kits, fire blankets, and more. Answer questions and have necessary procedures posted. 

Be sure to have regular training procedures so that new and old employees are up to date with procedures, hazards, and other essential things to know. This includes Emergency Evacuation Plans and even partaking in drills to go over the route and assembly location.

Related: Compliance Training You Need for New Employees

Conclusion

There are many things to consider while training new employees on how to work safely. Be sure to not only go over what is safe, but also what is allowed and what is and isn’t considered proper. Show the newly hired employees where to safely store their lunch and where they are allowed to consume these items. This can ensure that items don't come into contact with hazardous chemicals or equipment, or get mixed up with product. 

Safety training can look like many different things, so your company needs will vary. Be sure you customize your training program to your restaurants' needs, facility layout, and company size. 

Arrow Up is building safer and stronger teams with innovative online training. Contact us today to set up a custom training program for your team.

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