You know that boss from your first ever job who would bark, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!” Guess what? They were on to something. Keeping your store neat and tidy is the first step to preventing accidents and injuries to your employees and your customers, but there are other things you can do too:
Steps to Prevent Accidents and Injuries
- Keep the front and back of your store’s floors clear of spills, dropped food, and other hazards.
- Place non-slip, rubber mats at entrances, exits, and any area that tends to get wet (think, soda machines, ice machines, and sink areas … just to name a few!)
- Regularly use degreasers and heavy-duty cleaners on kitchen floors and other areas subjected to kitchen traffic.
- After mopping, in times of wet weather, or whenever a hazard is identified, make sure caution signs are consistently placed to alert customers and employees to proceed carefully. Leave signs out until the hazard is no longer present!
- Check bathrooms often to make sure the stalls and sink areas are free of debris. Fix water leaks right away to prevent wet floors and make sure all bathroom fixtures are functioning properly.
- In the dining room, tables, seating, and high chairs should be sturdy and well-maintained.
- Ensure the interior of your store, including hallways and bathrooms, is well-lit. Draw attention to changes in elevation with lights and signage to prevent trips.
- Just like your store’s interior, the exterior parking lot, driveways, and sidewalks need adequate lighting to ensure the safety of your guests and employees.
- In times of inclement weather, use salt to prevent ice build-up, remove ice and snow immediately, and continually check on driveways and sidewalks as ice and snow melt and refreezes.
- Whenever possible, it’s recommended that access to the dumpster area is secured with a lock. At the very least, the dumpster areas should remain free of debris and be maintained regularly.
In the back office
- Create a routine inspection schedule for the interior (don’t forget the bathrooms!) and exterior of your store. Make sure your employees understand what they’re looking for and why it’s important. Doing so makes the inspection more meaningful!
- Promptly coordinate the repair of issues identified by routine inspections – keep in mind that defects to flooring, sidewalks, and pavement are of particular concern because they create tripping hazards!
- A front and back of the store cleaning schedule, that’s adhered to, ensures cleanliness!
- Your employee dress code should always require non-slip footwear, when practical, to keep your staff safe.
- When hiring cleaners, parking lot attendants, snow removal companies, and any other vendor who tends to your premises, make sure your contract includes a hold harmless and indemnity agreement in favor of you, your employee, and your business. As an extra layer of protection, request these vendors add you as an additional insured to their General Liability Policy. Taking these steps serves as a way to transfer the risk of maintaining your premises to your vendors.
Remember, a clean place is a safe place! Implementing these tips will go a long way towards keeping your employees and customers accident and injury free!