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Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Strains and Sprains
Automatic Dishwasher - Burns and Scalds
Unwashed Sharps - Cuts Strains and Sprains
Automatic Dishwasher - Electrical Hazards
Automatic Dishwasher - Hazardous Chemicals
Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls

The Clean-up area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity to learn clean-up duties while handling various equipment and products. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:
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Safety Poster
Potential Hazard

Exposure of young restaurant workers to injuries due to slips, trips, and falls while performing tasks such as carrying trays or bins of dirty dishes, washing dishes, mopping floors, emptying trash, cleaning, and spraying down parking lots.

Possible Solutions

Young Worker Solutions

Employers have the primary responsibility for protecting the safety and health of their workers. Employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers.
Don't Overfill Bussing Containers
Don't overfill bussing containers.

Non-slip mat and shoes
Non-slip mat and shoes
  • Keep passageways and walkways free of clutter and crowding.

  • Be sure that rugs and mats are in place.

  • Wipe up spills immediately. "Spot mop" only during busy times.

  • Do not overfill bussing containers. Make a couple of trips to "clear" a table. The added time it takes to do the job safely will prevent injures in the long run.
    • Overfilling bussing containers can encourage strain injuries if you try to carry a container that is too heavy.
    • Overfilling containers is also dangerous because when a container is overfilled, items tend to fall out. If you try to grab the item you may end up dropping the entire container and possibly slipping on or getting cut by broken slippery dishes.
    • Even if items don't fall out of overfilled containers, workers focus so much on keeping everything inside the container that they forget to watch where they are going and trip and fall over objects in the room.

  • Wear appropriate waterproof non-slip footwear. This is especially important if doing wet processes such as spraying down parking lots or mopping floors.
    • If available, use slip-resistant overshoes when performing wet or greasy tasks. During wet processes, use the overshoes on top of your existing shoes for non-slip protection. Non-slip shoe covers provide safe footwear for a minimal cost.
Employer Solutions

Employers have the primary responsibility for protecting the safety and health of their workers. Employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers.

Follow OSHA Standards including:
  • Keep all places of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition. Walking/Working Surfaces Standard [1910.22(a)(1)].

  • Keep floors clean and dry. Where wet processes are used, maintain drainage, and provide false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places where practicable [1910.22(a)(2)].

  • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas [1910.145(c)(2)].
Slip-resistant "Over" shoes
Slip-resistant "over" shoes
Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:
  • Provide non-slip matting in areas that tend to be wet. Some types of matting may not be effective in areas that tend to be greasy. The use of no-skid waxes and floor surfaces coated with grit may be helpful in these areas.

  • Consider implementing a shoe policy program. The program could focus on employees wearing proper non-slip footwear, and could help fund proper footwear.

  • Consider providing non-slip overshoe covers for employees to when they perform wet or greasy tasks.

  • Ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately.
BookFor more information, see Serving - Slips/Trips/Falls.

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