According to statistics, restaurant workers experience a higher rate of injuries like burns and cuts than workers across all other private industries.
Because of this, restaurants need to take extra care to make their premises and working environment as safe as possible.
Whether you’re a restaurant owner or a restaurant employee, it’s essential that you know about the most common injuries that happen in restaurant environments.
Once you’re aware of the ways restaurant workers get hurt, you can take steps to minimize injuries.
Are you are an employee who’s suffered an injury on the job and hasn’t been fairly compensated? If so, knowing about the most common restaurant injuries can help you make a successful claim.
Continue reading to get informed on the most common injuries restaurant workers face.
Slip and Fall Accidents
One of the most common ways restaurant workers get hurt is through slips and falls. Restaurant environments are a recipe for slip and fall accidents. Spilled water and oil can both make restaurant floors incredibly slippery.
Research shows that spilled water is the primary cause of slip and falls accidents in restaurants. Oil follows as a close second. Given this, it makes sense that the majority of slip and fall accidents occur in the vicinity of sinks and fryer vats.
Another hazardous area is the freezer/fridge sections of restaurant kitchens. Frequent use can cause melting of ice and pooling of water by the units.
Dropped food is also a slipping hazard, and griller/broiler areas are another high-risk area for slip and fall injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can result in a myriad of different injuries, including bruises, fractures, sprains, spinal injuries, head injuries, and more.
To reduce the chance of slip and fall injuries, restaurant workers and owners need to take steps to ensure that floors are free from oil and water at all times. If an area can’t be cleaned up immediately, restaurant owners need to provide warning signs that can quickly be erected to warn restaurant workers of the slipping hazard.
Burns are another of the common injuries restaurant workers suffer. These can result from splashes of hot oil or boiling water, as well as steam, handling hot cookware, and operating stovetops, grills, fryers, broilers, etc.
Avoiding burns is often up to restaurant workers. However, restaurant owners should also take steps to reduce burn risks. Some of these include:
- Installing splash guards on fryers
- Providing restaurant workers with protective clothing and items such as gloves, mitts, hot pads, etc
- Install grease-containing units that dump automatically
The restaurant should also make sure that there are enough cooktops, with ample surrounding space. Overcrowding in restaurant kitchens can be a common source of injury on the job. Additionally, if there are too many pots on a range top, this crowding can increase the chance of burns from hot pot handles.
Another common category of restaurant injuries is cuts. Cuts can come as a result of chopping ingredients, or from cleaning up broken glass.
Although the majority of cuts aren’t severe, cuts and lacerations can lead to severe impairment, such as the loss of a finger. It can also lead to infection.
Restaurant workers should exercise particular caution when working with knives, slicers, and mixers and when cleaning up broken glass.
Restaurant owners should ensure that knives are kept sharp to reduce slippage and fatigue on the part of the kitchen staff. To reduce the risk of cuts, restaurants can also supply their workers with cut-resistant gloves, as well as additional knife and safety training.
Besides cuts, burns, slips, and falls, muscle strain is another of the common injuries restaurant workers sustain.
Muscle-related restaurant injuries are typically caused by lifting heavy items. These include things like tables, chairs, and benches.
Packing stock can also cause muscle-related injuries, as can carrying heavy stacks of plates or lifting heavy pots.
To minimize the risk of these types of injuries, restaurant workers should ask their colleagues for help when lifting heavy items. They may also want to look into using aids such as back or wrist braces.
Restaurant kitchens can be incredibly loud places. To make themselves heard over the din of fryers, broilers, appliances, and extractor fans, staff may need to shout to be heard.
Exposure to loud noises is known to be harmful to one’s hearing.
If you have sensitive ears, you should try to take steps to protect them as a restaurant worker. One of the ways you can do this is by wearing earplugs.
However, take note that there are some situations where wearing earplugs can impair your overall safety. If you need to be aware of sounds around you, then earplugs might not be the ideal solution.
Have You Undergone One of These Common Injuries as a Restaurant Worker?
Restaurants can be a high-risk environment, and both workers and employers need to take steps to prevent common injuries from happening.
However, no matter how many measures are in place, accidents can still happen.
Are you a restaurant worker? Have you experienced an injury on the job? If so, you should immediately report the incident, and make a workers’ compensation claim.
In some cases though, you might want to lodge a personal injury claim. Worker’s compensation will usually cover your treatment and some compensation for wages, permanent impairment, and vocational rehabilitation. However, it won’t compensate you for pain and suffering.
If your injury was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or due to malfunction of equipment due to a manufacturing fault—then filing a personal injury can be a better route.
Also, if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, then you will need to seek compensation via a personal injury claim.
Do you need help carrying out a personal injury claim in Louisiana? If so, we are here to help.
Personal injury law is one of the most cutthroat in the legal industry. Therefore, you need an experienced trial lawyer on your side when seeking fair compensation for your case.
At Babcock Injury Lawyers, our attorneys will level the playing field for you. They are highly experienced trial lawyers with a record of success in the courtroom. What’s more, we won’t charge you a cent until you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact us for a free case evaluation today.