Are you prepared to handle an emergency in your small business facility? Disaster can strike at any moment. That includes medical emergencies within a restaurant, something more quick-service operators are preparing their employees to deal with so customers can be protected when unexpected medical issues arise.
Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina is one brand that has committed to preparing its store managers to handle medical emergencies among both customers and employees.
“We haven’t so much saved anyone’s life, we’ve just done the right thing, making sure that if something happens, our managers are thoroughly prepared to handle it,” says Steve Kaplan, senior franchise business consultant for Salsarita’s. “It just comes down to good training through our management program. It’s extremely important for us to handle [emergencies] properly.”
Training includes providing managers with educational materials on handling emergencies, primarily slips and falls, he says.
“We pretty much teach real-life, day-to-day situations,” says Kaplan, adding that Salsarita’s conducts onsite safety meetings with store managers quarterly.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, apply to employers’ legal responsibility to provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
However, it’s beyond the scope of OSHA’s jurisdiction to require that employers train their employees to respond to medical emergencies experienced by customers while at their place of business. OSHA also does not require employers to document the number or types of medical emergencies experienced by customers.
Nevertheless, it’s critical for quick-serve workers to receive training on recognizing and handling medical emergencies, considering that fellow diners often hesitate to jump into action when they witness someone in apparent distress, says Larry Smythe, director of Pre-Hospital Services for Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania.