Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
images/spacer - borderLeft images/spacer - borderRight
images/spacer - borderLeft
frame top
frame top left
spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image spacer image
roll over image spacer image
roll over image No Smoking Sign - ETS spacer image
server image Swinging Doors - Slips/Trips/Falls spacer image
Hot Serving Equipment - Burns and Scalds spacer image spacer image
rollover image spacer image
roll over image Serving Tray - Strains and Sprains spacer image
roll over image spacer image
server image Cutting Utensils - Knives and Cuts roll over image spacer image
roll over image Ice Machine - Slips/Trips/Falls server image spacer image
server image Cash Register - Workplace Violence spacer image
roll over image spacer image
server image roll over image Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls spacer image
roll over image Unserved Food - Strains and Sprains server image server space image
Wet Floors - Slips/Trips/Falls server spacer image
slips image server image spacer image
center frame image
Serving
The Serving area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity for direct interaction with the customer, while learning food service and money handling skills. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards:
 
Take the Quiz
Safety Poster
frame server right image
frame server middle image

Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It may range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicides. 

Potential Hazard

Avoid over-reaching across tables or booths
Avoid over-reaching across tables or booths
Many workplaces, like restaurants, can be a for workplace violence because of the presence of cash, the late work hours,and contact with the public. A (1992-1997) Bureau of Labor Statistics study of all workplaces, indicates that 20 percent of overall youth workplace injuries are attributed to assaults or violent acts.

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.
Workplace violence
Workplace violence
  • Keep the cash register closed when not in use.

  • Keep cash register in line of sight of other employees.

  • Do not count cash in front of customers.

  • Help establish and follow lock-up procedures such as all employees should leave the workplace at the same time.

  • Know how to report and log incidents of threats or violence.

  • Use the safety plan when dealing with unsatisfied customers, robbery, or theft.

  • Keep the back doors locked unless you are receiving a delivery.
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.
Book For more information see Resources - Child Labor Laws.

Follow OSHA's Standards including:
  • Provide for exit route doors from the inside of a building at all times without keys, tools, or special knowledge. A device such as a panic bar that locks only from the outside is permitted on exit discharge doors. See OSHA Design and Construction Standard requirements for exit routes [1910.36(d)].
Consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:
Door sign
Door sign

Video Surveillance
Video surveillance
  • Design and implement a violence prevention program, specific for your establishment. The plan should indicate how employees should notify local law enforcement agencies in case of an emergency.

  • Contact your local Police Department for safety tips.

  • Train employees to follow the safety plan when dealing with unsatisfied customers, or an emergency such as a robbery or theft.

  • Instruct employees in reporting and logging incidents of threats or violence.

  • Post signs saying, "No more than $30 in cash register at all times." Limit available cash on hand to discourage theft.

  • Install a panic button under the counter to quickly notify the police in case of a robbery.

  • Increase workplace security by installing video surveillance, extra lighting around dimly lit areas (such as trash dumpsters and parking lots), alarm systems, door detectors, or bullet-resistant barriers where appropriate.

  • Install height markers to help employees identify the height of suspects.

  • Use the "buddy system" when jobs require employees to be outside after dark. Also, provide an escort for anyone who has a shift that ends late and must walk through a dark parking lot to their vehicle.

  • Assess staffing needs at high-risk areas and times.

  • Install drop safes to limit the amount of cash on hand.

  • Keep the back doors locked and set regular times for deliveries. Use panic bars on exit doors so they can be locked but employees can safety exit if they need to.

Additional Resources
frame server bottom image

  Home | Serving | Clean-up | Drive-thru | Cooking | Food Prep | Delivery | General | Resources | Safety Posters | Quizzes | Site Map | Credits
image spacer