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How OSHA Regulations Impact Restaurant Insurance Rates

January 19, 2018

Whether you own a restaurant or handle risk management on behalf of the owner, the fact remains that many of your decisions must be made with OSHA regulations in mind. 

In many ways, OSHA's rules and regulations can affect every aspect of a restaurant's operations, including insurance. If followed correctly, OSHA regulations help restaurant owners save money on their insurance premiums. 

What you will learn: 

How OSHA Helps with Restaurant Safety. 

As you already know, restaurants face a variety of different risks. From electrical risks, to fire hazards, slip-and-falls and valet drivers, there is no exception to having sufficient insurance coverage to protect your business.

Property coverage is an important aspect of insuring any restaurant; this type of coverage is meant to provide protection and financial reimbursement in the event of an accident that damages or renders lost any of the restaurant's equipment or other items.

Let's take fire hazards as an example. If a fire occurs on the premises and destroys the entire building, your policy would kick in and cover the costs associated with rebuilding the restaurant and replacing equipment.

However, OSHA's strict fire safety regulations help reduce the risk of a fire or other major accidents that can take place inside a restaurant. For example, restaurant managers are responsible for implementing fire safety plans. Fire extinguishers at restaurants? Part of the plan!

OSHA Requirements Turn Employees into Risk Managers

Think about it, your employees will always have more eyes and be in more places than you. If trained consistently and effectively, your team can help you reduce your business' liability just by following safety rules and remaining vigilant in identifying risky practices and dangerous situations.

Restaurant staff are required to be trained on how to safely and effectively use fire extinguishers. To further reduce risk of fire hazards, OSHA also requires kitchen staff  to keep flammable liquids and other materials away from cooking appliances at all times.


Fire Safety Tips for Your Employees

Here are more preventative tips to help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire:

  • Train kitchen staff to shut off gas/electrical power during emergencies
  • Clean grease from exhaust hoods, convection ovens, vents, filters, etc.
  • NEVER pour water on a grease fire
  • Dispose of ashes from charcoal and wood burning ovens once a day
  • Never leave hot oil unattended

Reduce Your Restaurant Insurance Premium.

With fire safety as the most common example, OSHA regulations can directly impact costs for liability coverage by proactively reducing risk. There are more safety regulations that can help limit general liability and workers compensation claims, saving you loads of money on your premium.

More OSHA safety tips for more insurance savings:

Age Restrictions

Take, for example, OSHA age restrictions on restaurant workers. Specifically, restaurant workers under the age of 16 are not permitted to handle knives, use most kitchen appliances, or cook on-the-job. 

Working Conditions

OSHA requires restaurant employees to be provided with a cool area to take breaks. This reduces the risks of dehydration and heat exhaustion which are common when working in hot kitchens.

Furthermore, requiring all floor surfaces inside your restaurant's kitchen be non-slip and that all employees wear non-slip shoes on-the-job helps reduce slip-and-fall accidents.

Additional requirements:

  • splash guards must be provided for any hot surfaces
  • first aid kits and burn kits must be readily available
  • rough or uneven floor surfaces must be repaired or replaced

The Bottom Line

Restaurant workers and their employers share the responsibility for staying safe on the job. While maintaining OSHA compliance may seem like a headache, the truth is that safety regulations are designed to reduce liabilities — ultimately helping you save a lot of money on insurance.

It is always a good time for owners to review their coverage with restaurant insurance specialists to ensure you, your business and your staff are adequately covered on the job.

SAHOURI Restaurant Insurance

As an independent insurance brokerage firm, we guide our Guests through a technology-driven, consulting-based experience that integrates corporate Risk, Health, and Benefits policies through one, centralized Advocacy Team.