Was this Workplace Accident Avoidable?

I met a few of my friends the other night at a restaurant for dinner. The food, atmosphere, wait staff and company were incredible. It was a great evening.

Except for one notable incident.

It occurred mid-meal when a friend and I went outside to meet a latecomer to our mini-soiree. As we waved our friend over, a chef from the restaurant was on the way out the door with the help of the manager and another staffer. A waiter from the restaurant pulled up in a vehicle that I learned (through shameless eavesdropping) belonged to the manager.  The chef was in obvious pain. When my friend learned it was his knee that was the problem, she quickly (and impressively) took charge of the situation, demanding that the chef lay down across the back seat, putting a jacket under his leg for cushioning and reminding the driver to proceed calmly and safely. She gave some other great advice, all derived from her own experience hurting her knee on the job.

As the chef and waiter driver left for the hospital, the manager thanked my friend and went inside.

Throughout the meal, my thoughts drifted towards the poor chef who would undoubtedly be off work for a while. What of the manager and staff? They were probably going insane trying to cover for the chef. Not to mention the waiter who had to leave work unexpectedly. Most importantly, I wondered if the accident could’ve been prevented and whether an ambulance should’ve been called for safety and legal reasons.

Back at work on Monday, I visited the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Safe At Work website. I found a wealth of information, including a tools section (think of it as a “Where’s Waldo” version of workplace hazards). The interactive tools look a little cheesy but they are quite helpful for small business owners and their employees. The tools point out both laws and best practices, so the site’s worth a visit, even if your small business isn’t located in Ontario.

Click on the image below to take the mini quiz on the Ministry of Labour’s website. I’ll be honest – it took some effort for me to find that twelfth hazard! You can check out the tools for other industries and find more health & safety information while you’re visiting. Health and Safety in Your Restaurant

Additional Resources:

In addition to this Government resource, you can refresh your knowledge on workplace health and safety through VuBiz, the CFIB / My StartUp program that provides learning modules on a host of business topics*.  VuBiz offers a free online training course on workplace safety. A certificate-based health and safety course is also available.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

 *Must be a CFIB member or My MyStartUp member through CFIB to participate in VuBiz free and discounted training sessions.

 

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