restaurant liability claims

Caterers and Restaurants: Lowering Your Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents

If you own a restaurant or a catering business, then you probably already know the importance of keeping your risks low. A simple slip and fall accident can not only cause you to lose a valuable employee, but if a customer happens to be the one that falls, you could wind up facing an expensive lawsuit that could impact your income, your reputation, and your business.

But, there are some things that you can do that will help you lower your risk of having such an event occur on your premises. As an added benefit, the following changes may even make it possible for you to save more money on your liability insurance.

Why Restaurants and Caterers are Prone to Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of workers compensation policy claim filed by workers in the food preparation industry. These claims are especially problematic for the restaurant owner because all too often, they occur out of sight. So, there’s no real way for the restaurant to argue the accident didn’t occur on the premises.

This type of accident is so prevalent in this industry because most commercial kitchens have cluttered floors that are made hazardous and slippery with spilled oil, water, and food. Often, employees who work in kitchen environments can’t see where they’re walking because they’re carrying large boxes or sacks. Servers and bussers are also at risk because their visibility is limited due to carrying trays and/or walking in areas with low lighting.

To make matters worse, these types of injuries usually include long recovery times and they can cause your insurance costs to skyrocket because the resulting disability payments to the injured and out of work employee will count against your experience modification factor.

Tips for Making Your Restaurant Safer for Employees and Customers

By making a few changes to your workplace policy and the workplace itself, you can better protect your restaurant or catering business from being the victim of a slip and fall lawsuit. These changes include:

  • Require employees wear non-slip, waterproof shoes.
  • Prohibit running in the restaurant.
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Store all supplies and equipment properly to reduce clutter
  • Apply de-icing products to exterior walkways in the winter
  • Require that all employees who carry items from storage be able to see over the top of the items that they are carrying.
  • Make sure all rugs and carpets in the restaurant lie flat at all times.

Tips for Making Your Workplace Safer for Employees

The following changes might cost a little money, but the amount you spend in them will pale in comparison to how much you stand to lose if you’re sued by an employee who fell and was injured on your property.

  • Install two double swing doors with windows at the entrance to the kitchen.
  • Install wall and ceiling outlets so extension cords aren’t strung along the floor.
  • Stretch or re-lay any bulging or bunched-up carpet.
  • Place non-slip floor mats in areas where water could be spilled.
  • Use only non-skid floor waxes throughout the restaurant.
  • Ensure all floors where water could be spilled or used to clean have adequate, working drainage.
  • Install convex mirrors at all blind corners.
  • Replace any broken or damaged drain covers immediately.

These simple recommendations will help you drastically reduce your risk of slip and fall accidents for both your employees and your patrons and help you reduce your insurance premiums.

Want Even More Protection Against Slip and Falls? Install SMART CCTV!

The problem with slip and fall prevention is that not every accident is “legitimate.” There are plenty of people out there who make a living by scamming companies and insurance agencies by fabricating slip and fall accidents. And, if you don’t have a way to disprove their claim, you’re already facing an uphill battle.

This is why installing a CCTV video recording system throughout your restaurant provides the very best protection against slip and fall lawsuits.

Did you know that in New York, a person has three years to file a personal injury claim against you? Accident attorneys know this and they will almost always have their clients wait at least six months before filing their lawsuit. Why? Because most surveillance systems only store 30 to 120 days’ worth of video before they start recording over the video.

To be protected against fraudulent claims in New York, you need a CCTV surveillance system that is capable of storing three years’ worth of video. SMART, which is an acronym for System Monitoring Alert Response Technology, is such a system. SMART provides restaurant owners with three years of on-site storage. So, the moment you’re served with a lawsuit, you have the footage necessary to protect your restaurant and your reputation.

SMART CCTV is the most advanced video surveillance system available. It is designed to provide your restaurant with 24/7 protection and peace of mind. SMART CCTV utilizes the latest innovations in the industry, including:

  • Self-diagnosis of the surveillance system with periodic status reports delivered direct to you
  • Automatic service requests when the DVR, NVR or cameras require service (it notifies you as well)
  • Automatic back-up system that helps prevent loss of vital video data due to hard drive failure, theft, fire, flood or natural disaster
  • Unlimited recording capability

SMART CCTV technology simply offers the highest level of video monitoring protection a restaurant or catering company can ask for.

To learn more about our SMART CCTV technology and how it can help your restaurant or catering business mitigate its risk, feel free to contact us and one of our company owners will meet with you at your convenience. You will receive a verbal price after the assessment and a detailed proposal in writing no later than the following business day.

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