A recent study has shown that restaurants are a particularly dangerous place for teenagers to work.
Due to the nature of the job and working conditions, employees in the restaurant industry are prone to workplace injuries. A recent study has shown that restaurants are a particularly dangerous place for teenagers to work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that over a two year period, 44,800 teen restaurant workers were injured. About 63 percent of these injuries were reported in pizza, hamburger, and other fast food restaurants.
Injury Risks in the Restaurant Industry
A variety of hazards are present in a restaurant that expose workers to the risk of injuries. Restaurant workers can get injured because of various reasons including:
- lifting and balancing heavy objects such as trays
- slip and fall accidents
- lifting and moving furniture such as tables and chairs
- broken or improper stairways or railings
- sharp utensils and kitchen tools
- burn injuries caused by hot foods and drinks, deep fryers, stoves, ovens, and other appliances
- exposure to harmful chemicals
- excessive noise
- motor vehicle accidents while delivering food
The NIOSH study found that about half of the injuries reported in the restaurant industry involved hot grease and more than 50 percent of fall-related injuries were caused by greasy and wet floors. Another interesting finding was that male workers were more likely to suffer lacerations, burns, and other cooking-related injuries. On the other hand, female workers were more likely to suffer injuries such as strains, contusions, and sprains associated with clearing tables and cashiering.
Safety Tips for Preventing Workplace Injuries
The experts in the restaurant industry and NIOSH recommends certain safety tips that can prevent work-related injuries. These recommendations include:
- Providing workers with appropriate scrapers, gloves, and other cleaning tools with proper handles to prevent burn injuries.
- If possible, using slip resistant flooring and keeping floors clean and dry.
- Letting hot grease cool before moving it.
- Requiring workers to wear non-skid shoes.
- Extinguishing grease fires by simply putting a lid over the container.
- Avoid reaching across or over burners and hot surfaces.
Workers’ Compensation for Injured Restaurant Workers
Restaurant workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered in the course and scope of work, irrespective of who was responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. The workers covered by workers’ compensation include bartenders, waiters, waitresses, cooks, and delivery drivers. In some cases, the injured worker may also be able to pursue a third-party claim if the injury was caused due to the fault of another person or party external to the workplace.
If you face any problems in receiving the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve, consult with our Missouri workers’ compensation attorney from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Call us at (314) 361-4300.