Restaurant Employee Workers Comp Claims
The potential for job related injury can occur in any type of business. However, some employees, such as restaurant workers, appear to face higher levels of risk and sadly, accidents are fairly commonplace.
There are more than a million restaurants within the United States, comprising ten percent of the total workforce. Employees are exposed to risk of injury from slip and fall accidents, cuts from handling sharp knives and burns sustained due to working around hot surfaces. Fortunately, workers comp insurance is available to cover medical, disability and rehabilitation costs for restaurant workers who are injured on the job.
In this article the experienced workers comp attorneys at Cantrell Green discuss the most common workplace injuries for restaurant workers.
Slip & Fall Restaurant Workers Comp Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are quite common in the restaurant industry. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reported that over the course of a given year, 3 million employees are injured in slip and fall related accidents. Some of the more obvious contributing factors to slip and fall injuries include uneven floor surfaces, buckling mats, and the failure of management to require proper footwear.
Cooking oil and grease are less obvious culprits, but either through spilling, dripping or overspray, they tend to find their way to the floor, causing slick and slippery surfaces. In fact an estimated sixty percent of workers comp slip and fall claims can be attributed to cooking oil.
As long as oil is used in cooking, it will pose a risk to employees. There are ways to decrease the risk of slipping on cooking oil, however. For instance, some employers have implemented a safety shoe program, along with clear safety procedures that are communicated to employees on a regular basis. Since nearly half of slip and fall accidents occur near fryer vats or sinks, the placement of strong-grip mats in these locations help to reduce accidents as well.
Cuts & Burns Restaurant Workers Comp Injuries
Laceration and burn injuries comprise about a third of workers comp claims filed by restaurant workers.
Hot surfaces and tools used in preparing and cooking food, such as knives, peelers, scissors, slicers, blenders and the like pose risks to even the most careful employees. Cuts, lacerations and burns are all too common.
Surprisingly, using high-quality knives that are kept sharpened at all times actually reduces the chance of cuts and lacerations. Well-maintained tools of the trade are also easier to handle. Cutting equipment should be cleaned after each use and non-slip mats should always be placed under cutting boards to keep them in place.
Restaurant Workers Comp for Lifting Injury
Restaurant workers also frequently need to lift heavy objects (such as large pots filled with water or food; heavy bags of flour or rice; cast iron cookware; trays of food; stacks of dishes). Heavy lifting, or even repetitive lifting of lighter objects, can result in muscular injury. Employers should ensure that their employees understand how to lift properly – with bent knees, straight backs. Also, before a heavy item is lifted, care should be taken to pinpoint where it will be put down, so as to eliminate extra twists and turns of the back. And of course, an employee should never lift an object greater than his or her capacity to do so safely.
The Cal/OSHA safety guide for employees can be found here for avoiding workplace injuries in the food service injury: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/Rsg.pdf
Workers Comp Attorneys for Restaurant Employees
The workers comp attorneys at Cantrell Green have helped hundreds of injured restaurant employees get the workers comp they deserve for slip and falls, cuts, burns and other workplace injuries.
If you are a cook, server, host/hostess or manager who was injured while working in a restaurant, the experienced Workers Comp attorneys at Cantrell Green will fight for your rights to obtain the proper medical treatment and financial compensation you deserve under California workers’ compensation law.