Most people only know restaurants as a source of delicious food and fun nights out. But it’s also a very hazardous work environment.
Much of the danger takes place in back in the kitchen. Enormous sharp knives, 400 degree oil and hot gas flames are all part of a commercial kitchen. Many restaurants have chosen to implement a non-slip shoe policy.
Additional hazards lurk around every corner. Something as simple as spilled water can easily cause an accident. Common areas include the sink or the ice machine. Grease can come from from stovetop griddles and oil spills froms when you’re transporting it.
In a study by Emory University, food service workers have a 60% higher rate of occupational injury than workers in other industries. That’s a significant amount. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep this number down. Besides educating your managers and employees on proper safety techniques, a restaurant can implement a non-slip shoe policy.
Employee can require employees to pay the expense. You can set it up to do payroll deduction with the first paycheck. That way, if the new employee is short on money, they’ll still be able to work.
In some areas, you can stipulate that new employees use a certain supplier. That way, you know for sure that the shoes are commercial-grade. After all, some new employees might be tempted to use inferior footwear. By making sure everyone uses the same shoe supplier, you know everyone will be properly equipped. With the increased volume, you might be able to get a discount on the footwear as well.
There are additional reasons why restaurants should stipulate a no-slip shoe policy. This shoes tend to be commercial-grade and highly durable. A study found that servers average 23,000 steps a day. This is more than ten miles! Normal shoes will wear down after a few months of this type of activity. The However, no-slip shoes are durable and will last a lot longer. Durable commercial shoes will save employees a lot of money in the long run.
Additionally, these shoes are usually made for work shifts where you have to stand up the whole day. Arch support is critical, otherwise your feet and legs will rapidly tire out. No-slip shoes will be designed with the additional cushioning and support to get you through the day. If you have bad knees, you might need special shoes.
Some work shoe manufacturers also back their shoes with a guarantee. The terms and conditions of these guarantees vary but they can allow you to sleep at night. If the unthinkable happens and there’s an accident, it might even allow you to avoid a worker’s comp claim. This will affect your history and your composite rate as well.
Decreasing injuries will will save you a lot of headache as well. Unfortunately, many employees, hospitals, insurance companies and corporate offices will automatically blame the manager. By avoiding it entirely, you ensure smooth sailing.
Not all no-slip shoes are equal.
Here’s a little lesson in science. When examining friction, there’s something called the “Coefficient of Friction”, or CoF. It’s a way of measuring how strong the friction is. The higher the coefficient, the higher the strength. For a restaurant shoe, it should be between .54 and .76, which is twice the ratio for “non-slip” shoes.
You might be thinking that a non-slip shoe would be far more expensive than a regular shoe and you’re placing a big burden on your employees. But that’s not true at all.
It costs roughly the same. So your employee is just buying another affordable pair of shoes. When they’re not using it for work, they can use it for school, social outings or future work environments.
For the Employee
You might be a little angered that you’re being forced to buy non-slip shoes. But it’s really for your safety. They last a long time and they can save you from injury. You can probably take it to your next job as well.
If you’ve never worked in a restaurant before, you probably don’t understand how many hazards there are in a restaurant as a workplace setting. Long knives can easily cause injury while spilled oil, grease and water can easily cause a fall. It’s no wonder so many restaurants require non-slip shoes.
If the workplace requires it at all times and you don’t have any, inquire if they’ll front you the money with a payroll deduction. Many restaurants offer this. If they don’t, you’ll have to look at another one.
Employee Not Required
If you’re not required to wear non-slip shoes, you should still consider purchasing them. This is not just for the non-slip properties. They’re a lot more durable than regular shoes and will provide the proper comfort and support for a long shift. If you’re wearing regular shoes to a work shift, you’ll quickly notice the aches and pains when you get home.
Commercial kitchens have plenty of hazards. These include spilled water, oil, grease and long knives. It’s all too easy to slip and knock your head on solid metal. Protect your employees by creating and enforcing a non-slip shoe policy.
If you’re an employee and not required to buy non-slip shoes, you should still highly consider purchasing a pair. They don’t cost more than a regular pair of shoes and they’ll help protect you from injury.