Making sure your bar meets health and safety regulations can be challenging, but it’s critical to your business. After all, you don’t want employees getting injured on the job or guests to get hurt when they visit. Taking a few steps can keep your workers and customers safer and happier. Here are some ideas.
1) Keep Floors and Routes Clear
This sounds like common sense, but trips from obstructions are the cause of many workplace accidents. Anything cluttering up the walking routes in the main section of the bar can put you and your clients at risk of injury.
Before every shift, look for any equipment cables or cords that might pose a trip hazard, as well as any trash such as boxes from stocking the bar, or cleaning equipment left out. Once the bar is open, keep checking around the bar area floor and walking areas to make sure staff or customers haven’t left anything around, especially during busy times.
2) Clean Up any Spills
Dealing with liquids and ice can make for a slippery floor, so be sure to mop up any spills as soon as they happen. Rubber mats and slip-resistant footwear can also help prevent employees from slipping and falling.
3) Consider Appointing a Safety Monitor
It could be helpful to appoint a responsible employee to be in charge of making sure the staff adheres to certain health and safety procedures and regulations on a daily basis. This person can report back to you with worries or concerns about potential hazards and safety they find and also let you know what’s working. They may even be able to perform a slips, trips, and falls risk assessment.
4) Provide Noise Protection
Most bars and clubs are exceedingly loud, especially those with live music and/or dancing.
Depending on on the noise level of your bar, you might consider providing your employees with ear plugs. While some may worry that earplugs will make it hard for bartenders to hear customers’ orders, proponents say that earplugs allow bar staff to hear clearer as they cut out the background noise.
5) Step Up Security
Working within an industry that deals with intoxicated people means that sometimes you’re going to experience aggressive, unreasonable and even violent customers. While these encounters are often unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to help these situations.
The first is to hire dedicated security personnel who are invaluable in dealing with problem customers. Another precaution is to install CCTV so that any customers can be prosecuted in the case of abuse. Training employees in diffusing drunk and disorderly customers and having set procedures to follow can mitigate potential problems.
6) Train and Retrain Your Team on Safety Measures
Make sure your staffers know the right way to handle tasks such as changing kegs, stocking, dealing with broken glass, manual lifting and using equipment. It’s a good idea to retrain your employees at set intervals, such as every three months. This can seriously improve the health and safety of your bar, your staff and your patrons, which is one of the most important things to be thinking about as a bar owner or manager.
Tom Larkin is marketing controller with Shoes For Crews Europe, a provider of slip resistant and safety footwear.