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.

Restaurant Server Allowed Workers’ Compensation Although Positive for Drugs

In the news this morning, Feb. 3, 2012, Business Insurance.com announced the results of a court finding regarding this case.

The court case, Deloris K. Stenson vs. Pat’s of Henderson Seafood, originated in 2008. Ms. Stenson tripped over a box of potatoes in the food prep area and broke her wrist. She went to the emergency room for the injury, and while she was there, they tested her for drugs.

Workers Compensation Claims can be expensive to an employer. Do you know how to prevent them?

Workers Compensation Claims can be expensive to an employer. Do you know how to prevent them?


Because the test result was positive for Xanax and marijuana, her insurer and the employer only paid for the emergency room bill and denied all other benefits.

However in court, the judge determined that the accident was not caused by intoxication. Ms. Stenson was awarded all temporary disability benefits and medical care.

Here is some of how the court determined their decision:

“Based on the testimony that Stenson had performed her job all morning without complaints from the customers or any other staff members and that she had smoked marijuana four days prior to the accident, not on the day of the accident, we cannot say that the WCJ was manifestly erroneous in finding that Stenson had overcome the presumption of intoxication,” according to the appeals court.

“Furthermore, we agree with the workers comp judge that the accident was not of the nature that any intoxication was a contributing cause,” the appeals court continued. “Boxes of potatoes were left on the floor in front of the microwave in the ‘prep area’ where Stenson and other employees were required to go in the course of their duties. No one testified that Stenson appeared intoxicated at the time of the accident. Thus, the judge’s findings are supported by the record.”

How much is Workers’ Compensation Insurance for a Restaurant in California?

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required by law for all businesses in California that have employees, even if they only have one employee.The only exception to this is if the sole owner is the only employee of the business. In this case, Workers’ Compensation is optional.

Failing to have the required amount of Workers’ Compensation insurance can result in heavy fines, penalties, and possibly even jail time.

Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011

The cost of your Workers’ Compensation insurance is dependent on several factors. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, “While the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau… issues recommended rates and carriers must file their rates with the California Department of Insurance, rates can vary from carrier to carrier.”

In addition, your premiums are determined by your industry classification, your history of work related injuries that go into a formula called an experience modification, payroll numbers, underwriting adjustments, and several other factors.

More importantly, more than half of experience modifications have errors, and only a highly trained insurance broker can analyze the data to determine if your information is correct. Invensure has found that on average, those who have mistakes in their experience modifications can save an additional 30% on their insurance premiums after these mistakes have been fixed.

That being said, if you were looking for a simple explanation or a straight number for Workers’ Compensation insurance for your restaurant in California, the only way to get a good number is to contact a licensed insurance agency.

Invensure has a specialized program for restaurants and excels at finding the best coverage for the best price. We work with all the major Work Comp insurance companies so we can get you the best policies at the best rates. We also do a thorough analysis of your Unit Stat filing and the other factors that make up your Ex-mod to make sure your premium is as low as possible.

Call (800) 331-4700 for a no-obligation quote. Our California restaurant insurance specialists are here to help you.

Restaurant Safety Tips to Lower your Workers’ Compensation Premiums

There are certain types of injuries that are common to restaurants and the food industry. If someone is injured and Workers’ Compensation Insurance handles the claim, the cost of your premium may go up.

In order to keep your Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums as low as possible, it is a good idea to develop a safety plan for your restaurant and train all employees in safe practices.

Here are some common injuries in restaurants and what you can do to prevent them.

Preventing slips, trips, and falls.

  • Mop up spills right away
  • Clean up dropped ice immediately
  • Put caution signs on wet floors
  • Put non-slip matting in areas that are constantly wet
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes

Rushing around in a busy restaurant can lead to avoidable accidents.

  • Slow down when you are entering swinging doors
  • Be extra careful around blind corners
  • Windows in doors, carefully placed mirrors, and a system to announce “coming in” or “coming out” can prevent unnecessary collisions
  • Keep walkways clear at all times
  • Don’t carry too many items that may block your view.

Burns are very common in the restaurant business.

  • Carry hot plates with trays, hot pads, or dry cloths
  • Provide safety training for hot beverage machines and other heated equipment

Cuts from sharp objects can be prevented.

  • Clean up broken dishes with a broom immediately. Do not use your hands
  • Be careful while washing dishes, there may be broken glassware or knives hidden beneath objects
  • Train employees to NEVER leave knives or broken glasses in the sink

Strains and sprains can be prevented by following some ergonomic advice and never overloading yourself.

  • Making multiple trips instead of carrying everything at one time
  • Carry heavy loads at waist height
  • Carry full coffee pots and pitchers with two hands
  • Hold heavy objects close to your body a with straight wrists
  • Don’t reach too far. Walk around the table to serve and keep commonly used items off the top shelf
  • Use neutral posture and vary your positions and tasks frequently.
  • Stretch and briefly rest every 15-20 minutes

Preventing violence in the workplace.

  • Learn how to handle customers and complaints calmly
  • Keep the cash register closed
  • Limit cash in the restaurant
  • Keep back doors closed and locked at all times
  • Develop and train employees in a safety action plan for robberies or violence

By implementing a good safety program, you can lower your Workers’ Compensation rates. If you have any questions, speak to an industry insurance specialist at (949) 756-4100.

How to Save Money on Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Restaurants: Safety Programs

Did you know that for all employment related injuries and illnesses that occur worldwide, one out of 20 occur at eating and drinking establishments?

The 4 most common injuries at restaurants include: cust, burns, strains, and eye injuries. Because of frequent contact with knives, slicers, and broken dishes and glasses, restaurant staff are prone to cuts and lacerations.

The second most common injuries at restaurants are burns, for obvious reasons. Approximately one-third of all job-related burns occur in restaurants.

Sprains and strains are next on the list of injuries to restaurant workers. Overreaching, trips and falls, hard-to-reach items, and improper lifting are the major causes of this type of injury.

Eye injuries are the fourth most common injury in restaurants because of splashes from grease or cleaning agents.

According to studies from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “for every $1 spent in safety programs, businesses can save between $4 to $6 from costs associated with injuries and fatalities.”

Because the cost of your workers’ compensation is directly affected by the number and severity of claims, a good safety program is the first step in lowering the cost of your workers compensation premium.

Invensure offers safety training programs for restaurants as a part of our complete risk management and insurance service. Call (949) 756-4100 and ask for Vicki, our restaurant specialist, to learn more about the program.

Safety Training for California Restaurants

Restaurant Safety Training to Lower Workers' Compensation CostsSafety training is vitally important for restaurants. Common restaurant injuries such as cuts, burns, slip & falls, and ergonomic injuries can cause your workers’ compensation premiums to go sky high. However, if you initiate a good safety program and stick to it, you can reduce the number of injuries and keep your workers compensation premiums as low as possible.

The following materials came from the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation and The Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP). Originals are located here and may be updated in the future.

Download the Restaurant Safety Training Guide  (English)  (Spanish)
Download the Restaurant Safety Tipsheet  (English)  (Spanish)