If you own or are considering starting a restaurant, you may not have considered the dangers that exist within the industry. While this shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your passion of being a restaurant owner, it should open your eyes to the realization that workplace injuries occur and that you will need to protect your employees and your business from these liabilities.
This is a short list but these are the 9 most common injuries for workers comp in restaurants, in no specific order.
Cuts and Punctures.
Protecting your kitchen staff from Cuts and punctures is one of the most important things you can do as a restaurant owner.
Restaurant Report has a list of 7 steps to avoid cuts but our favorite suggestion is to use Cutting gloves.
Cutting gloves are made of cut resistant materials, usually stainless steel or Kevlar, and they are great at helping to reduce cuts and puncture injuries.
It's a great idea to have cutting gloves in a variety of sizes in your restaurants kitchen and to make sure that your staff is using them.
You remember the old saying, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Well for the people working in restaurants, that isn’t really an option. The result: about 12,000 burns are reported per year.
Moving around crowded kitchens and working with fryers can present some burn hazards.
To prevent burn injuries in restaurants:
Another thing you can do as the restaurant owner is provide the best equipment for safety. Things like:
You can find more suggestions here but these can really help you cut down on potential injuries and workers comp claims.
Sprains and strains.
Overreaching and improper lifting can cause some very serious injuries and are very common when you work in the food service industry
Restaurants have grease, chemicals and even the occasional glass shard falling into workers eyes. Long term eye damage is something that could happen if a worker doesn’t get the proper treatment immediately.
Floors in the kitchen of restaurants can get slick or wet very often. As a matter of fact, according to OSHA this is responsible for 15% of all accidental deaths in the industry.
Lower Back Injuries.
Improper lifting technique and reaching for heavy pots and pans can cause very serious injuries. Proper training on lifting technique helps but injuries are still common.
Machine related injuries.
Injuries occur not just because of improper use of machinery, but also because of malfunctions with the machinery itself.
This is especially common when dealing with fast food. This is one of the most difficult injuries to protect your employees from getting as well.
Repetitive tasks with the hands can cause injuries so the people who open boxes, stock inventory and even the administration of the restaurant is at risk for this type of injury.