An establishment such as a restaurant typically has a high amount of foot traffic. Between employees and customers, there are many people in one place at one time. While safety is an important element for all types of buildings, there are specific pieces of equipment that are especially important for restaurants.
A busy kitchen is one of the main reasons restaurants should have a large focus on safety. Some of the items restaurant owners should have in their kitchens include kitchen hood fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lights, exhaust fans, thermostats, and fire and smoke detectors.
Along with this equipment, Restaurant.org also reccomends preventative maintenance and staff training. While having the right equipment is half of the battle, the other half of the battle is maintaining, having backups, and having a properly trained staff who is aware of the establishment’s safety plan.
As for emergency lights, owners should look for ones that live up to these standards:
- Highly visible illumination
- Long LED lighting lifespan
- Able to withstand damp locations
- Flame rated thermoplastic
LED lighting overall is a benefit for restaurants, and not just for safety purposes. They’re eco-friendly, cost-efficient, 100% recyclable, free of toxic chemicals, and durable.
Along with being aware of the importance of restaurant safety equipment, it’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations, including the ones specific to youth workers. Being that a restaurant position can be a popular first job among youths, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), laid out guidelines that relate to restaurant equipment. For example, “child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 18 to operate, set up, adjust, clean, oil, or repair power-driven equipment such as meat slicers or bakery mixers.”
Health-related hazards are another concern for restaurants. There is always a need for washing equipment, refrigeration units, ice machines, preperation tables, freezers, and grills. This may depend on what type of food items are on the menu, but this list can apply to the most basic establishments. In order to prevent bacteria from spreading, tables, work stations and utensils must be sanitized and food items need to remain at their recommended temperatures. If not, both customers and employees are at risk of foodborne illnesses.
While many of the most important matters are covered above, it’s still advised to review all of the laws and regulations for your specific establishment and state. At the same time, you should implement standards. The standards can include dress code, cleanliness, customer service, and so on. This way, your restaurant will contain everything it needs to be considered a safe, healthy and successful environment.
Author: Frank Capasso of Valley Lighting & Home Decor.