Fish have a tendency to travel in schools, moving together in large groups in the most unexpected directions. In a sense, the same can be said of restaurant workers. In fact, restaurant owners and managers often observe that their staff members take so-called "unexpected pathways" in order to travel from point A to point B.
While these unexpected pathways may prove faster for workers, owners and managers must ensure these routes are safe to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Kaivac, manufacturers of the OmniFlex™ Crossover Cleaning System, suggests the following steps restaurant owners/managers can take to make pathways safer:
• Remove or limit distractions; ensure that workers can concentrate on exactly where they are going.
• Look for and remove protruding obstructions, especially ones below knee level that may be hard to see.
• Place warning cones before any steps, or mark them with red tape.
• Avoid vivid floor or carpet patterns, as these can cause visual confusion.
• Make sure pathways are well lit and free of any glare.
• Re-evaluate your cleaning procedures; unexpected pathways often receive less-than-thorough cleaning attention.
• If the pathway is a hard-surface floor, consider using alternative cleaning.
• Avoid spreading grease and soils that can make floors slippery.
• If spills tend to occur in the area, use drainage mats to cover the walkway; this will likely be the safest option until the floor can be cleaned.
"And watch restaurant patrons as well," says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac. "Very often, they too will take unexpected pathways, and owners/managers must make sure these are safe as well."