The fast-paced, high-energy environment of a bustling restaurant is brimming with safety hazards and the potential for accidents and loss. Knowing that one of the leading causes of loss for restaurant or foodservice contractors is slip, trip & fall injury, we examine both the frequency and severity measures of this loss type and offer one leading solution that will dramatically lower the exposure.
The costs associated with these claims go far beyond the actual cost paid out on a claim. The high costs of slip and fall injuries, both direct and indirect, include:
- Rising insurance premiums
- Lost wages, absenteeism and lower productivity
- The need for business owners to increase sales and services to recoup financial losses
The Slippery Scope
According to Gallagher Bassett’s Restaurant Book of Business, the average cost per slip, trip and fall claim in 2016 was $26,979 (@36 months), which is 121% greater than the average of all claim types. From a frequency viewpoint STF claims account for 22% of all claims occurring in 2018.
Across industries, a study by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports that slips and falls are the leading cause for occupational injuries for people 55 and older.” As we learned from GB’s article in July, there is a positive correlation between worker age and average cost per claim. Taking into account the frequency and severity of STF claims, there is a huge opportunity to reduce a firm’s total cost of risk by attacking this specific claim type.
Finding Solutions for Slip and Fall Exposure
Slips and falls are a daily hazard in nearly every kind of restaurant and commercial kitchen throughout the U.S. To reduce the incidence of these injuries, effective Risk Managers must understand the most common causes and take a proactive approach to ensure a safe working environment.
Some common causes of slip, trip and fall losses in commercial kitchens include:
- Spilled grease, oils and water from stoves, deep fryers and grills or transport of dishes
- Ice machines
- Salad ingredients and garnishes like tomatoes olives and sauces
- Employees who do not wear the proper footwear
A proactive approach to reducing this exposure means taking steps to create a safer environment for food service employees. These steps include conducting workplace assessments, eliminating obvious hazards, developing safety-centric job and procedural training, and creating a culture of safety.
Safety Starts from the Ground Up
As a part of an overall safety strategy, the implementation of a slip-resistant safety footwear policy can offer an effective and easily adoptable solution to slip and fall injury risk and exposure.
A recent study on slips and falls in the foodservice sector, conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) using Shoes For Crews safety footwear, found that slip-resistant shoes were proven to significantly reduce workers’ compensation claims for slip injuries. NIOSH chose Shoes For Crews for the study as an unbiased industry partner for their slip-resistant footwear.
The NIOSH study found that slip-resistant shoes were proven to significantly reduce workers’ compensation claims for slip injuries. The group given the slip-resistant footwear experienced a 67% reduction in slip injury occurrence. The control group not using slip-resistant footwear experienced a 14% increase in slip injury incidents. The bottom line: Slip-resistant Shoes dramatically cut slip rates
These exciting findings point toward a straightforward proactive intervention for mitigating slip and fall losses: adopting a slip-resistant work shoe policy.
5 Key Benefits of Safety Shoe Programs
Requiring slip-resistant work shoes as part of restaurant uniform policy is a good start toward reducing risk. Risk and loss managers want measurable results and maximum participation and compliance. That's where a managed footwear program comes in. 5 critical benefits to a managed shoe safety program are:
1. A managed program ensures greater participation than simply recommending or requiring safety shoes
2. Insurance providers offer participation and cost-benefit analytics as well as program administration
3. Safety shoe providers offer footwear with true, effective slip-resistant outsole traction designed for specific job hazards
4. Restaurant owners see substantial reduction in slip and fall occurrence claims and costs
5. Businesses are able to offer safety shoes as an employee benefit and enhance the organization's overall safety culture
Corporate-managed safety shoe programs achieve the best results, are easiest for companies to administer, and offer a reliable slip-resistant footwear product designed for the demands of front- and back-of-house restaurant staff.
Designing Your Shoe Safety Program
Managed footwear program experts like Shoes For Crews offer a variety of program options, from 100% company-sponsored to company-subsidized and payroll deduction plans. Providing dedicated online shopping portals, mobile shoe trucks and on-site fittings make obtaining shoes easy and fast, while driving up participation and compliance. Finally, custom reporting and analytics measure your program's impact.
The next time you review your company's overall safety strategy, consider the ways you can reduce the high frequency and high severity occurrence of workplace slips and falls, including a well-designed slip-resistant safety footwear program.
To learn more about Gallagher Bassett’s safety training programs, visit https://www.gallagherbassett.com/risk-control/training-education/
To learn more about Shoes For Crews, visit https://www.shoesforcrews.com
Tim Kelly has 30 years of industry experience and leads the Restaurant & Foodservice Practice at GB.
Dan Mowry has over 20 years of experience in workplace safety for the QSR restaurant category and serves as the Strategic Account Manager at Shoes for Crews.