Tagrisk Restaurant Ergonomics Employees Standing in Front of Oven in Kitchen

Posture, Exertion and Motion in Restaurants

Posture, Exertion and Motion in Restaurants

Restaurants are not just judged by how great their food is and how outstanding their customer service is. Ergonomics play a factor in determining if a restaurant is a good spot to eat and a nice place to work. If Starbucks did not have comfortable seating, would it still be the amazing coffee shop it is today? Could restaurant turnover decrease if ergonomic conditions were positive and sustainable? Tagrisk Insurance Servcies is a firm believer in safety in the restaurant industry and ergonomics matters. As a restaurant owner, it is your job to make comfort a priority in your establishment.

Main ergonomic concerns for restaurants are the following:

Static Postures

  • Problem: When the body is positioned without movement for over 9 seconds repeatedly this causes fatigue, discomfort, and pain over time
  • Solution: Anti fatigue matting provides softer surfaces to relieve stress from standing for long periods of time. Footstools allow employees to shift their body weight from solely their legs and lower back.

Repetitive Motion

  • Problem: Continuous movement of upper body parts such as elbows, wrists, forearms, and upper arms with more than 9 reps a minute. This movement overtime can cause joint pains, musculoskeletal injury, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Solution: Use automated devices when possible. Perform tasks in different working positions to avoid continuous and repetitious movement of the same muscle/muscle groups (e.g. alternating hands). Employees should pace themselves, stretch, take breaks, rotate within the job, and combine/eliminate tasks where possible.

Forceful Exertions

  • Problem: Extreme stress caused by an excess use of force can lead to a variety of injuries.
  • Solution: Good form/posture while performing job duties that require some level of force will allow employees to use less force and reduce risk of injury. Lift all objects that require your employees to bend over, with a straight back and bent knees. Your staff can also see where the load is going and plan accordingly on how to handle. Always look for ways to reduce the weight of what needs to be carried by separating what can be separated. Rather spend 2 extra minutes making 2 trips then have back pains for the rest of your life. Use dollies, conveyors, and hoists when applicable. Pushing something on wheels as opposed to carrying, lifting, and carrying can reduce chances of strains and sprains. Place heavy items at mid-thigh height (not just placing heaviest items on the bottom shelf). Be mindful of floor conditions when carrying items that are wobbly, slippery, or warm.

Contact Stress

  • Problem: Sharp or rugged edges/corners appear in restaurants and can cause injuries if not properly addressed
  • Solution: Add padding to sharp or rugged edges to reduce strain and stress on hands. Make sure employees avoid leaning against metal surfaces of these rough edges. Try to round off sharp edges on shelves, tables, and ledges.

Awkward Postures

  • Problem: This is a problem that happens when employees must move quickly in a fast-paced setting or when fundamental safety procedures are not set in place. This can lead to a wide variety of injuries.
  • Solution: Employees should move as close as possible to objects in use to prevent over extension. Face objects that you are working on; you should not twist and reach to the sides of behind the body. Keep elbows as close to the body as possible and use tools to keep wrists straight. Have stepstools available for shorter employees. The more frequent an item is used, the easier it should be to access. [1]

These are just a few ergonomics concerns for restaurants and solutions to some of these problems. Tagrisk Insurance Services’ risk appetite includes but is not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Our hospitality insurance programs fill coverage gaps that may exist in your current policies. Do not renew your insurance without a quote from us. Contact Tagrisk Insurance Services for a quote today!


Tagrisk Restaurant Safety - Restaurant, Food, Salmon on a Dinner Dish with Glasses

Restaurant Safety

Restaurant Safety

Restaurant safety is essential in the restaurant industry. It is equally important to the employers, employees, and customers alike. There are many potential hazards in the restaurant industry which is why Tagrisk Insurance Services offers a complete suite of hospitality insurance programs to protect restaurant owners and their businesses.

Cross Contamination

Proper food prep, handling, and storage are essential for restaurants as the smallest mistakes can have enormous ramifications. Cross Contamination can leave your customers sick or worse! Some restaurants must operate faster than others (maybe speed is one of their core values). The employees at these restaurants may forget to put gloves on when using solvent to clean up messes. Clear labels and a storage section/closet dedicated to cleaning materials may deter this from happening.

Health Care Inspection

Sanitation, good hygiene, and food temperature control are mandatory for restaurants and are major points during a health care inspection. Thermometers should always be calibrated and heavier items should be stored on the bottom rack/shelf. Employees should also be frequently washing their hands (especially when leaving the bathroom). Employees should also come to work clean and with a clean uniform. Depending on the restaurant, your staff may require an apron, gloves, hairnet, and slip resistant shoes.

Ergonomics/Slip and Falls

Ergonomics from comfortable seating for guests to employees standing for long periods of time requires attention. Consider the cause of one of the most common hazards in restaurants, slippery floors. Slip and falls do happen but there are preventative measures your establishment can take before a slip and fall turns into a lawsuit. Don’t forget that your employees can hurt themselves the same way customers can in your restaurant! With sharp objects, fryers, and hot stoves the chances of your staff getting seriously hurt increases exponentially. To help mitigate these situations, consider slip-resistant shoes, slip-resistant floor mats, and lighting for maximum visibility in your establishment.


It is no surprise that employees get burned working with equipment that heats to over 300 degrees from time to time. But how prepared are you for when this happens? A plan needs to be in place on how to handle burns efficiently and effectively as possible. If you notice your employees are receiving burns frequently as opposed to from time to time then you may need to revisit and reevaluate your safety handbook. Extra safety equipment such as heat resistant gloves and pot holders may need to be added to your inventory. There are also fire hazards while working with equipment that hot. Employees should be trained on what to do if a fire breaks out in the restaurant

Lacerations, Strains and Sprains

Lacerations, strains and sprains are almost as common as burns in the restaurant industry. Lacerations (cuts) occur from using knives or other sharp cutting equipment. Safety procedures should be put in place on how to operate sharp cutting equipment and knives should never be improperly stored. Customers can also get cut if they touch broken plates, bowls, or glasses. It is important that defective or broken utensils/dinnerware are never served to customers. Strains and sprains come from lifting incorrectly and repetitive motions (such as cutting and folding). Proper technique and communication can curb these injuries.

Tagrisk Insurance Services’ risk appetite includes but is not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Our hospitality insurance programs fill coverage gaps that may exist in your current policies. Do not renew your insurance without a quote from us. Contact Tagrisk Insurance Services for a quote today!