As a restaurant owner, you and your team will no doubt be working tough and often long hours. As your waiting staff are on their feet serving food and drinks all day, it can be extremely taxing on their bodies, as it puts you in awkward postures which can lead to back, shoulder and neck injuries.
Should you not provide adequate training or support and one of your workers suffer an injury during their employment, you could face a compensation claim under the employer's liability section of your Restaurant Insurance.
Servers Can Also Be At Risk From Customers
Parties and alcohol can also fuel unruly behaviour by some customers, putting your waiters or servers in danger of injury or abuse. Physical or verbal abuse of staff is a common cause of liability claims and can also impact workforce absence and staff attrition levels.
If your team encounter customers who are giving them a hard time, harassing them or are not acting appropriately, you or a manager should be prepared to step in. You should try to defuse the situation quickly avoiding any unnecessary conflict between you and the customer.
Common Types of Employee Injury
Typical restaurant staff injuries are strains and sprains from balancing too many objects on trays, lifting heavy trays above shoulder height and lifting overfilled containers of dirty dishes, or having to excessively reach across tables to serve or collect plates.
Tips To Avoid Injury
As a restaurant owner, you have a duty of care to the welfare and safety of all of your staff. This includes providing a safe working environment and appropriate training.
Regular risk assessments over each job role, including waiting staff, will assist in managing your onboarding and existing refresher training. Typically this should include lifting and manual handling training as well as safety tips:
Suggested Employee Safety Tips:
- Avoid awkward postures while carrying trays, plates and glasses.
- Limit the number of plates that you carry or ask a co-worker to assist you.
- Use both hands to carry coffee pots and water pitchers. Hold these items close to your body, as they can be heavy.
- Move glasses near you when pouring beverages instead of reaching across a table to do so.
- Balance trays on both your arm and hand.
- Alternate carrying items from one hand to the other to give your wrists a short rest.
- Balance loads evenly by placing the heaviest items in the middle of the tray.
- Try to stand by the customer you are serving rather than reaching across a table and over others.
- Ask other employees for assistance if you must move tables or chairs.
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