When furniture isn’t fastened properly, it can wobble, shift or move in a way that can cause someone to fall. This is a common danger happening much too often in restaurants today. That’s why owners and managers must be diligent in checking chair legs, under tables, screws in toilet seats and other furniture that can wear or loosen with constant use. Even more frequent are the incidents with children getting fingers caught between the cushion of the chair and the chair frame itself. Preventing children from serious injury is a safety must. A little prevention can go a long way in saving you from costly claims.

While it’s natural for general clumsiness to lead to a fall, in many cases the cause is actually due to a restaurant’s piece of furniture that isn’t properly assembled or maintained. A recent sampling of chairs, toilet seats and tables revealed many cases in which furniture had missing screws, loose fasteners, or cracks at connection points. 

For example, these photos reveal two separate chairs both with missing screws.

The top photo clearly shows there were no screws connecting the cushion to the frame on either side. The cushion can easily move or slide potentially resulting in a dangerous injury and costly claim. In other random restaurant samplings, three out of five chairs had missing screws, and two in five toilet seats were not fastened properly. Poorly maintained furniture can also create a poor impression for your store.

Get a leg up on furniture claims with these important safety tips: 

  • Immediately send a note or call a quick meeting with all managers to task their maintenance employees to check all furniture and toilet seats for any loose or missing screws.

  • If a chair is unrepairable, remove it immediately. Either fix it or safely store it away until it can be repaired. Keep proper screws and fasteners on hand for repairs.

  • Set up a monthly maintenance schedule for maintenance employees to go through the store with an electric screw driver and tighten up screws and check fasteners.

  • Make sure to check all tables, chairs and toilet seats. When working on toilet seats, mandate that employees wears protective gloves.

  • When purchasing new chairs or tables, double check that they are assembled properly. Also take time to replace older worn chairs or during an MRP.

  • If a chair has been deemed unsafe and can’t be quickly repaired, remove it and keep it locked out of use. Better yet, label it with a sticker or tape as “broken” so that other staff members are in the know.

Remember to leave no table, chair, cushion or toilet seat unturned. It can prevent dangerous injuries, save your store’s reputation and reduce costly insurance claims.