Common Restaurant Industry Hazards
Most reality television shows offer very little insight into what happens in the real world. However, shows devoted to commercial kitchens are fairly accurate, especially when they show contestants running around. Most restaurant kitchens involve a hectic work pace, and it is not unusual to see people reaching, grabbing, bumping into each other, and making sudden movements. Add to the mix sharp implements, hot surfaces, and slippery floors and it is not surprising that more than 600,000 hospitality kitchen incidents are reported every year.
What specifically makes working as a cook, food prep, sous chef, expeditor, dishwasher, or server so risky? The following list shows some of the most common restaurant hazards that may lead to accidents and injuries.
Sprains and Strains
Haul a 35-pound box of frozen meat from the refrigerator to the counter? Lift several hefty cases of wine up and down the cellar stairs? These are everyday occurrences for restaurant workers. Not surprisingly, they can leave some workers in serious pain.
Many food employees submit workers’ compensation claims because they have sprained or strained their soft tissues while lifting objects. Servers frequently experience shoulder, arm, and back pain due to maneuvering and balancing trays during long shifts.
In the case of sprains and strains that are not severe, the injury may heal rapidly with rest and proper treatment. However, if the injury is not adequately attended, it may lead to chronic issues and discomfort. This can lead any restaurant employee to seek workers’ compensation to cover months of lost wages.
Slips and Falls
Kitchen floors can be among the most slippery surfaces anywhere in an eatery. From cooking oil spills and fallen food particles, to cables and bins, tripping and slipping hazards seem to be everywhere. In fact, slips and falls are the core cause for more than a quarter of commercial kitchen accidents.
The best way to avoid tripping and sliding is to remove obstacles and clean up messes immediately. Restaurant owners who allow the back kitchen to become cluttered and dangerous may find themselves dealing with expensive workers’ compensation claims. For that reason, they should train workers on protocols to prevent falls, as well as explain which footwear to choose for a shift’s work coming in and out of the kitchen.
Anyone who has been in a restaurant kitchen knows that equipment, food, and other items are often piled onto shelves. If the shelves are not secure or well-organized, the objects can easily come loose and fall on workers.
Employees who are struck by objects risk everything from concussions to contusions. Fortunately, the remedy is straightforward: stop adding weight to shelves that cannot accommodate more items. Also, store the heaviest objects lower to ground level.
Bucks County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Injured Restaurant Workers Filing for Benefits
Being injured on the job is scary and confusing, not to mention expensive as the medical treatment and physical therapy bills pile up. If you were hurt while working in a commercial kitchen in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or North Carolina, consider calling the Bucks County workers’ compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our team of compassionate workers’ compensation attorneys welcomes the chance to talk about your case. Make an appointment at our Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, or Pinehurst, North Carolina office today by calling 888-999-1962 or complete an online form.