Effective restaurant teams have members who look out for each others’ safety. Teamwork is essential to maintaining a safe restaurant, and the opposite is also true. As a manager, the safety of your teammates and guests is your responsibility. Ask yourself these questions to discover hidden safety hazards in your restaurant.

Are you setting a good example?

Accidents are more likely to happen when people are messing around and not paying attention. Be firm about behavior expectations –no horseplay, no leaving things out that might cause others to get hurt, no ignoring safety hazards. To make your rules stick, always set a good example.

Are you training and re-training on safety procedures?

If you’re like most restaurant managers, you put new employees through a comprehensive training program that covers everything from how to clock in to how to roll the silverware. That’s a good plan, but what does your follow-up training look like? Repetition is the motor of learning. To avoid safety hazards caused by lackluster policy adherence, regularly re-train employees on basic store safety, slips and falls, safe lifting, fire safety, robbery deterrence, and more.

Is everything in its place?

This doesn’t just apply to things you need to find quickly, such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits. While it’s critical that your entire staff knows the locations of safety-related items, they also need to know where everyday items go as well. If someone leaves the step ladder out, for example, staff should be trained to put it away in its proper place, rather than expecting someone else to do it. This applies to items such as brooms, mops, buckets, trash cans, ladders, and anything else that could be a tripping hazard.

Are you and your staff ready for inclement weather?

With a change in the seasons comes a change in the risk for inclement weather. Don’t wait until severe weather is on its way to train your staff. Weather preparedness training should be part of your orientation program, and refresher sessions should happen as seasons change.