Do you work in the restaurant industry? Do you often wonder if your health and well-being are at risk while you’re on the job? Have you witnessed a co-worker suffer an on-the-job injury?
Even if you assume that your job is safe, it only takes one mistake to cause a serious accident. And if that happens, your life could change in an instant.
There are two things you can do to protect yourself as a restaurant worker.
First off, follow all directions and training that you receive from your employer. Neglecting to do so increases the risk of an accident, while also putting your job at risk.
Secondly, become familiar with the most common restaurant worker injuries. This alone will help you change the way you approach your day. Following this theme, here are seven of the most common restaurant worker injuries in Florida:
Think about all the equipment and supplies you come in contact with as a restaurant worker. Now, think about the damage they could cause to your body if you make a simple mistake.
Sharp knives, for example, are a mainstay in restaurant kitchens from coast to coast. And while these utensils are necessary, they’re also very dangerous.
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’re aware of the many hazards on the job site. For instance, you could slip on a wet floor, fall to the ground, and fracture your arm. Or maybe you don’t see someone coming through a swinging door, thus putting you in the line of fire.
Broken bones cause immediate pain, as well as the potential for long-term discomfort. And depending on your job responsibilities, it could cause you to take time off from work.
Your muscles are always at risk of injury when working in the restaurant industry. Common causes of sprains and strains include slip and fall accidents, heavy lifting, and standing in the same position for an extended period of time.
Think about all the heavy loads you lift in the kitchen. Or consider how you stand at the drive-thru window for hours on end. These responsibilities put great strain on your body, with your muscles taking a beating.
Hot surfaces and oil can cause serious burns to any exposed area of the body. Depending on the severity, burns may require extensive surgery and could result in permanent disfigurement and scarring.
Many neck and back injuries are related to heavy lifting. A common example is moving heavy boxes of food from a freezer to the prep area.
Even if you only do this every now and again, you’re still putting your neck and back health at risk.
You don’t often think about this in the restaurant industry, but as a worker in this space you know just how many chemicals are used.
Grill cleaners, oven cleaners, and drain openers are just a few of the most common. These can cause serious skin, eye, and respiratory injuries. And in the most severe of cases, such as when mixing chemicals, death could occur.
Restaurant workers often tackle the same tasks, hour after hour, day after day. While this helps you perform better over the long run, it also puts a lot of strain on your body.
Repetitive motion injuries among restaurant workers can include things such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
If you suffer an on the job injury as a restaurant worker in Florida, take these three basic steps:
- Report the injury to your supervisor, HR department, and/or company owner
- Receive immediate medical attention
- File a claim for workers’ compensation benefits (if applicable)
While you may feel that you have every right to receive workers’ compensation benefits as you recover, don’t be surprised if your employer fights back. A common argument is that you didn’t suffer your injury at work.
Rather than fight this battle on your own, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Sternberg / Forsythe, PA, we know exactly what it takes to help you receive all the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or via phone at 561-513-4376 to set up a consultation with an attorney.