Essential Risk Management Tips for Restaurants

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Hey, it’s Jeremy from Ochsner Insurance, and welcome to the WCW Blast. That’s right, it’s the Work Comp Wednesday Blast. Today, we’re focusing on restaurants and how effective risk management can positively impact your workers’ compensation and overall safety. Let’s dive into some key areas that every restaurateur should consider.

1. Kitchen Safety

  • Appliance Maintenance: Ensure that all kitchen appliances are under a service contract and are regularly maintained and sanitized. Dirty or faulty appliances can lead to health issues and accidents.
  • Hood and Sprinkler Systems: Regularly check and clean your hood and sprinkler systems. Make sure the nozzles are not clogged to prevent fire hazards. Proper maintenance can avoid major claims and ensure safety.

2. Slip and Fall Prevention

  • Training and Signage: Train your staff on proper procedures to handle spills and ensure you have adequate signage.
  • Incident Reporting: Implement a formal process for reporting accidents and incidents. This helps in analyzing the cause and preventing future occurrences. Knowing whether an incident was caused by a customer, or an employee can influence your response and insurance claims.

3. Employee Handbook and Training

  • Handbook: Keep your employee handbook up to date with the latest federal and state laws. Ensure all employees have read and signed it.
  • Light Duty Return to Work: Implement a formal light-duty program for employees recovering from injuries. This helps in reducing workers’ compensation claims and costs, as employees can return to work sooner, performing less physically demanding tasks, all approved by the doctor handling the recovery process.

4. Alcohol Policy

  • Serving Alcohol: If your establishment serves alcohol, have a clear policy for handling intoxicated patrons. Train your staff on how to defuse situations and safely remove patrons who are out of control.
  • Documentation: Use forms to document incidents involving intoxicated patrons. This helps in managing potential claims related to liquor liability and ensures your staff handles situations consistently.
Night Club Risk Management, Bouncer in a suit

5. Security and Lighting

  • Security Measures: Ensure your premises are well-lit and secure, especially in areas where employees and customers might be at risk. Proper lighting deters criminal activity and prevents accidents.
  • Camera Surveillance: Install cameras to monitor critical areas. This can help in accident investigations and deter criminal activities.


Effective risk management in the restaurant industry is crucial for maintaining a safe environment and controlling insurance costs. From maintaining kitchen equipment to implementing a thorough incident reporting system, these measures can significantly impact your workers’ compensation premiums and overall safety.

Thank you for tuning in to this Work Comp Wednesday Blast. If you found this information helpful, like and share the content. For more detailed guidance on managing risks and workers’ compensation, reach out to us at Ochsner Insurance. Here’s to your success and safety!

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