Restaurant work can be dangerous work.
Within the food services industry, there are a wide variety of jobs, and all workers in this sector are exposed to some risks and can potentially be injured.
Restaurant Workers and Risk of Injury
The restaurant enviornment and the specific job that a worker performs in the restaurant determine the kind of risks the worker faces. OSHA has prepared a summary of some of the risks that restaurant workers may encounter. Common injuries are caused by:
- balancing or lifting heavy containers or trays
- reaching across tables to clear or serve
- moving or lifting tables and chairs
- workplace violence or robbery
- scald or burn injuries from dishwasher, oven, deep fryers, stove, or similar appliances
- burn injuries caused by damaged electrical wiring or faulty electrical appliances
- excessive noise
- exposure to toxins, exhaust fumes, and chemicals
- delivering food
Types of Work-Related Injuries
Restaurant workers are exposed to various other workplace hazards, and these hazards can result in various types of injuries including:
- repetitive motion injuries such as sprains, strains, or bulging discs
- overexertion injuries including back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- burn injuries from ovens, faulty equipment, and appliances
- broken bones or fractures, resulting from workplace violence or slips and falls
- hearing loss
- illnesses due to toxic exposure
- cuts and lacerations
These injuries can range from mild, requiring minimal treatment to extremely serious, requiring urgent medical attention and prolonged treatment. Serious workplace injuries such as burns and deep lacerations can also lead to the death of the injured worker.
Legal Options Available for Injured Restaurant Workers
Workplace injuries that cause permanent disability may put an end to a worker’s ability to earn a living. Serious injuries requiring prolonged and extensive medical treatment may result in huge medical expenses, leaving the worker in a financial crisis. The inability to work and lost wages can further complicate the matter, adding to the worker’s woes. Workers who are injured at the workplace are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation system provides medical and temporary and permanent disability benefits to workers who get injured in the course and scope of employment.
In addition, if a workplace injury is caused because of faulty or malfunctioning appliances, the manufacturer or the company responsible for its upkeep may be held responsible. An injured worker can make a third-party claim against the responsible party and get compensation for injuries and all resulting losses.