Why Restaurants Should Install Eye Washes for Worker Safety
In March of 2021, the US Government passed the American Rescue Plan, which expanded previously implemented relief programs by explicitly targeting businesses in the foodservice industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With new funds being made available to restaurants all over the country, one area of focus that food service establishments should consider revamping is workplace safety.
Restaurant safety equipment can often take a back seat when it comes to spending. After all, the primary focus of a restaurant is food service. Therefore, it is tempting to pay as little attention as possible to your restaurant's safety practices. However, this approach can have disastrous and expensive consequences.
Here is a look at how an eyewash station in your restaurant can keep your staff safe from serious injury and help you avoid costly workplace safety fines.
Restaurant Safety Guidelines
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), facilities are required to have eyewash stations where personnel can flush out their eyes if they come into contact with corrosive or caustic materials. This station is to be located in the "immediate" work area to provide staff with quick access in case of emergency.
Corrosive or caustic materials are substances that are typically found in cleaners or other chemical agents. These materials are often incorporated into the cleaning products that restaurants use to clean grills, utensils, or other areas of the establishment. An employee who uses these substances to clean any part of the restaurant could potentially injure themselves with the cleaning agent.
Failing to keep an eyewash station or emergency shower in an area where employees use these materials could result in a fine. It depends on the type of materials used in your restaurant and the relative risk involved for your staff. However, it's a good idea to check the guidelines and make sure you're in compliance when it comes to OSHA regulations.
In addition to regulatory compliance, eyewash stations, emergency showers, and other workplace safety equipment will help keep your staff safe. Restaurants are often fast-paced environments. Because of this, it is essential for owners and operators to think about what safety measures should be in place if an accident occurs.
Even if your establishment happens to be exempt from regulations regarding eye-wash stations or emergency showers, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't think about keeping them in your restaurant. Making the right safety items available to your employees will-ultimately-keep them safe, which ensures that your operations will continue running smoothly.
Julie Lehto is a Senior Marketing Manager for Justrite Safety Group, an industry-leading provider of workplace safety equipment. Whether you are looking for an eye wash station, emergency shower, or other safety equipment, Justrite can help you find what you need to avoid fines and keep your staff safe. Julie has a diverse background in multiple marketing facets as well as product/program management, and her knowledge spans across all areas of safety that Justrite addresses.