While fire may be the biggest and most destructive hazard in residential and commercial kitchens alike, other hazards in the kitchen can easily result in injury or worse, one of which is slipping. Slipping, unlike other hazards such as getting injured by sharp kitchenware or tripping over clutter, is relatively harder to detect — it only takes a thin (and almost invisible) layer of oil or grease to cause a slipping incident. Not only that, but slipping often leads to other accidents, such as getting burnt by instinctively grabbing onto a hot stove, or hitting other staff who may be using knives and other kitchen tools.
That said, kitchens need to be more wary of slipping hazards and the potential damage it can cause, and take the necessary precautions to prevent them:
#1 Clean Up Spills Immediately
The kitchen floor is a constant victim of spills, from oil and grease to sauces and juice, and plain water, all of which are potential slipping hazards that can endanger your kitchen staff. That said, staff should immediately clean up any spills, and it's essential for the kitchen to be equipped or stocked up with the necessary cleaning tools (mops and brushes) and chemicals needed to quickly clean up various types of spills — do take note that some substances such as oil or grease may need a special cleaner in order to effectively and quickly remove them from the floor and leave no residue behind. It's also just as important to let others know of the spill and mark it off as soon as it's detected.
#2 Plumbing and Floor Drainage
Poor plumbing and drainage can lead to flooding in the kitchen floor, which can result in both slipping and electric shock incidents. That said, kitchens need to invest in good plumbing systems, and efficient and reliable floor drainage systems, such as a floor trough drain with strainer baskets that can effectively drain liquids and prevent any debris from blocking and clogging the plumbing system (which can lead to flooding).
#3 Enforce a No Running Policy'
A commercial kitchen can be quite hectic, and staff may sometimes be tempted to start running to keep up and ensure that food is served on time. However, staff are more likely to trip, slip, and/or bump into their coworkers or kitchenware when they're running. As such, it's important that you heavily enforce a no running policy in the kitchen, and put up warning signs on the walls as a constant reminder not to do so.
#4 Mark Areas that Are Wet/Slippery
If a certain area of the kitchen is wet/slippery after cleaning (or after a stubborn spill), it should be marked and blocked off by a wet floor safety sign. If you can, try restricting access to the area altogether by using a barrier chain that you can hook up from the sign.
#5 Strategically Placed Slip-Proof Safety Mats
Even if you have slip-resistant flooring in your kitchen, you may want to consider adding safety mats in key areas of the kitchen that gets wet more often (such as near sinks or dishwashing areas) or areas where sauces and soups are being cooked.
#6 Slip-Proof Shoes
Another way you can improve both the comfort and safety of your kitchen staff is by providing slip-resistant/non-slip shoes, also sometimes called ‘chef shoes.' These shoes are designed for comfort and support (which is much needed given that kitchen staff spends most of their time standing and walking around the kitchen), protection from sharp and heavy, and slip resistance.
Although it may not be as destructive as fire hazards, slipping hazards still pose as a threat to every commercial (and residential) kitchen, so make sure to follow the aforementioned steps to improve your staff's safety further.