Why Every Eating Establishment Needs an Industrial Restaurant First Aid Kit
Did you know that there were 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported in full-service restaurants during 2019? Nearly a third of those injuries required at least one day away from work.
Restaurant industry work is inherently dangerous. It’s a high-stress, fast-paced occupation, and workers perform in an environment surrounded by many hazards.
Given the number of restaurant injuries each year, you must have a restaurant First Aid kit available to all employees. A well-stocked, comprehensive kit could be the difference between a major and minor injury.
Are you a restaurant owner or manager? Read on to find out why a workplace First Aid Kit is a crucial part of your operation.
Federal Law Requires First Aid Kits
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal regulatory body that operates within the U.S. Department of Labor. The administration’s mission is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all workers in America. OSHA achieves this mission through mandates, training, and education.
One OSHA mandates every workplace must follow is the requirement for First Aid kits. Every private business must have one available for employee use, and OSHA recommends it meets the minimum standard outlined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
ANSI Minimum First Aid
ANSI divides its kit standards into two classes, A and B. These classes are based on size and contents. Given the number of workplace injuries occurring in full-service restaurants, you should maintain at least an ANSI Class B kit.
A Class B kit contains:
- 50 adhesive bandages
- Two rolls of adhesive tape
- 25 antibiotic applicators
- 50 antiseptic wipes
- At least one mask or breathing barrier
- Two gel-soaked burn dressings
- 25 burn treatments
- Two cold-packs
- Two eye coverings with attachments
- Four ounces of eye/skin wash
- One first aid guide
- Ten units of hand sanitizer
- Four pairs of latex exam gloves
- Three roller bandages
- One pair of scissors
- One splint
- One tourniquet
- Four trauma pads
- Two triangular bandages
Though these are the minimum ANSI standards, nothing prevents you from having more restaurant First Aid supplies. Items like adhesive bandages, tape, and burn dressings have a long shelf life. You may benefit from having an extra stock of these goods to ensure compliance at all times.
Buying First Aid items in bulk may mean you pay less for these vital supplies.
Restaurant Kitchen Hazards
If you own a restaurant or invest in one but have never worked under the pressure of a busy Saturday night, you may not have a full grasp of the occupational dangers. A restaurant kitchen is full of hazards that can severely injure a worker at any moment.
A dishwasher deals with scalding hot water, glass, and ceramic dishes that can and will break at any moment. During a busy shift, these items are more likely to break, leaving them tasked with clean-up.
A pantry chef chops produce with razor-sharp knives. Any distraction or mistake can lead to a severe cut or worse.
Then there’s the hot food line. Industrial broilers cook at temperatures well over 500°F. On a busy night, a sautee cook may have eight to ten burners working. There’s water boiling for pasta dishes as well as a deep fryer splattering hot oil.
All of this occurs within barely controlled chaos where workers can and will bump into each other, slip, and fall. One mistake can result in lacerations, burns, or worse.
Front of the House Hazards
Cooks, chefs, and dishwashers aren’t the only restaurant workers who face the prospect of severe injury daily. Server assistants, servers, bartenders, and hosts are also at risk far beyond most other occupations.
A restaurant kitchen floor gets splattered with grease and water on any given night. A server in a hurry with a handful of heavy plates can slip and fall.
Servers, server assistants, and bartenders also work with glass stemware. Temperature changes cause these glasses to break, often at unexpected times.
Most bartenders wash glassware by hand. Mistakes occur in the chaos of a busy bar, and often these glasses break when washed. These hazards all come with working in the industry but are all reasons why you need a well-stocked First Aid kit.
Restaurant Industry Prevention
The best restaurant First Aid is prevention. Though you can’t eliminate all injury risks within a full-service restaurant, there are policies you can mandate to reduce occurrences.
You should require all employees to wear non-slip shoes. These shoes give servers, cooks, and dishwashers a steady footing on slippery restaurant kitchen floors. Studies show slip-resistant work shoes reduce slip and fall injuries by 67%.
For kitchen staff, cut-resistant gloves and proper knife training reduce cuts and punctures. Slip-resistant mats in all high-traffic locations will also help burns, slips, and other injuries.
First Aid Kit Refills
Even if you take the most vigorous preventative measures, your workers will suffer injuries. A First Aid Kit is a preventative measure that can stop wounds from becoming worse.
Purchasing a back-stock of First Aid kit items is a crucial step for workplace safety, and you have options. Though there are minimum requirements for these kits, you can also build a custom kit to suit the needs of your restaurant.
Keep Your Employees Safe With a Restaurant First Aid Kit
Restaurant work is dangerous by nature. Sharp knives, hot oil, and delicate glassware can all cause extreme injury at any moment. Add to those hazards the stress of a busy night that places both front and back of the house workers in a volatile environment.
That’s why any responsible owner needs a restaurant First Aid Kit for their staff.
Do you need to restock your First Aid kit? Why not buy them in bulk from First Aid Supplies Online? Check out our brands’ page for the latest name-brand supplies.