27th February, 2014

Preventing slips and falls in cafes

When a cafe becomes busy, a few dropped coffees and other spills seem to be inevitable. Unfortunately, when the floor becomes wet, slippery or cluttered with discarded litter, slips and falls are a likely outcome.

If an employee takes a tumble in the workplace, the employer and business owner are liable for any medical costs and sick day pay outs related to the incident. It is therefore important for Western Australian cafe owners to ensure they take out comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance in Perth.

However, if a customer or visitor to your store was the one to slip over on a spilt coffee, workers’ compensation would not protect your business from the financial obligations. Instead, business owners must hold public liability cover as part of their coffee shop insurance policy.

While taking out cafe insurance in Perth will help businesses recover after a slip or fall occurs, preventing these incidents from happening in the first place is a more efficient method of avoiding financial liability.

To help cafe owners minimise the risk of falls in the workplace, WorkSafe WA released a bulletin outlining potential control measures employers can use to meet their obligation to provide and maintain a safe working environment.

Slippery floors

Water, coffee and oil spills are a common hazard in the cafe and restaurant industry, leading to a high rate of slip, trip and fall-related injuries.

Employers and employees can minimise the risk by installing sinks or troughs in areas prone to dripping water. Additionally, floors can be covered with non-slip material or mats.

Cafes with tiles or similar flooring should be outfitted with adequate drainage systems to ensure spills are moved away from high-traffic areas.

Slips can also be minimised by enacting an efficient cleaning schedule and making sure all spills are cleaned within a reasonable time.

Finally, staff should be encouraged to wear appropriate footwear at all times, such as shoes with adequate grip on the soles.

Author: Murray Bruce