OSHA Compliance & Safety Checklists for Restaurants

It is exciting to announce that we have completed our restaurant safety and OSHA compliance checklists and are now offering this program to our clients.

Safety Checklist for California Restaurant Insurance ProgramWe don’t just quote insurance and this is proof. What we provide is a valuable service that is beyond what other local insurance brokers do.

Just last week we did an OSHA compliance review with one of our restaurant owners and found violations that would have cost him $11,800 in fines if an inspector came in. We helped him correct the errors and helped him save $11,800.

Not only did we save him the amount of money a fine would cost him, we also helped reduce his workers’ compensation rates by doing the service as well. Invensure offers a complete, holistic approach to risk management that is more than just insurance.

Not only does Invensure provide the right protection for when somethings, we also help to prevent problems and reduce your overall cost of risk.

If you have questions about how we can help with your restaurant safety and insurance in Southern California, call (800) 331-4700.

California Food Handler Card: Law SB 602 Requires Food Safety Training

Starting in June of 2011, California law SB 602 began to require that all restaurant food handlers take a food safety training course and pass a test. Once the test is passed, they would receive a California Food Handler Card. The questions that beg to be asked are: How many restaurant owners know about this law? How many restaurant “food handlers” have these cards? The answer is not very many.

California Food Handler Card

Food handlers in California restaurants are required by law to have a California Food Handler Card


In case if you didn’t know, here is an overview:

In California, people who prepare, serve, or store food for a restaurant are required to have a California Food Handler Card. Within 30 days of being hired, a food handler must take a certified food safety course and pass a test with a score of 70% or higher.

The law does not apply to food handlers in Riverside, San Bernardino, or San Diego counties, but the cards are required in the rest of the state of California. The counties mentioned above have more specific laws regarding this issue.

Once the employee receives the card, they are to make a copy of the card and give it to the employer. In turn, the employer is required to keep records of all employees and ensure their cards are up to date. This is required by law.

Health inspectors enforce the law and they will ask for the records during an inspection.

For the fill text of SB 602, click here.

The classes are inexpensive, the law says that there must be at least one course that costs no more than $15, and the law caps fees at $60 for testing and certificate to ensure affordability for food handlers. The law does not specify if the employer or employee is responsible for the cost of testing and food safety certification.

Apparently, there is another bill in the works, SB 303, that will clarify the message of the first bill.

Stay tuned. If you want to receive updates on the subject, sign up for our RSS feed.

US Department of Labor Sues Subway Restaurant Franchise over Wage and Hour Law Violations

February 6, 2012: According to a press release from the US Department of Labor, a Subway franchise in Ohio owned by Hray Enterprises has been sued for back wages of 68 employees in 5 restaurants. The owners Joseph Hray and Tammy Hray were investigated by the Wage and Hour Division and are alleged to have violated minimum wage, overtime, and child labor laws.

The two-year investigation found that the franchisee did not pay employees for the hours they worked after the store closed (overtime violations) and employees were docked wages when their cash registers were short, (minimum wage violations). Most seriously, minors were found performing dangerous tasks that are prohibited by child labor and OSHA laws.

Workers under the age of 18 have special restrictions about operating hazardous machinery in the workplace. Restaurants have special OSHA regulations about teen workers. Minors are prohibited from operating or loading balers and trash compactors, and five of the employees regularly had to do so as part of their duties.

According to the press release, “employers may make wage deductions for cash register shortages, certain uniforms and food; however, the deductions cannot result in an employee earning less than the minimum wage for all hours worked in every workweek.” In this case, the wages that were deducted lowered the rate of pay as to fall below the allowable amount. Additionally, the overtime work should have been paid at a rate of time and a half to comply with federal laws.

This year, 6 out of 10 restaurants in California will be sued by their employees. Inspections are increasing and wage and hour laws are becoming more complicated. Many employers are not aware of the laws or have difficulty understanding how to comply with them.

This is where Invensure can help. Because we specialize in insuring restaurants in Southern California, it is our job to advise you how to minimize your liability. A good Employment Practices Liability insurance (EPLI) policy could help to recover some of the financial damages from an employee lawsuit.

Are you protected? Call (800) 331-4700 to learn more.

Restaurant Workplace Liability: Slips, Trips, and Falls

In the restaurant and food industry in Southern California, slip, trip and fall injuries are some of the most common Workers’ Compensation claims.

According to OSHA, “Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.”

Employers are responsible for the safety and health of their employees. In addition to OSHA requirements, employers who follow a good safety program will benefit from the reduction in the cost of their workers’ compensation insurance premiums over time.

To help prevent slip, trip, and fall injuries, OSHA requires that restaurants do the following:

  • Keep all places of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition [1910.22(a)(1)].
  • Keep floors clean and dry [1910.22(a)(2)]. In addition to being a slip hazard, continually wet surfaces promote the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria that can cause infections.
  • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas [1910.145(c)(2)].

Invensure offers industry specific safety programs and insurance for the food industry and restaurants in California. There is a special Workers’ Compensation Cost Reduction Program specifically geared to the food industry that is designed to lower risk and associated costs.

Call (800) 331-4700 to learn more.