Every year, hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers are injured on the job. These employees risk being burned by chemical cleaning agents, hot oil or flames. They have the potential of getting cut by sharp objects such as knives. They also risk slipping and falling on wet or slippery surfaces or getting struck by commercial equipment. These are only some of the injuries that they face though.
A Farmers Insurance report shows that at least a quarter of the claims they process are filed by restaurant workers. Many of them are for cooking and chemical burns, slips and falls and cuts. Other claims are filed by workers who have suffered overuse injuries or been hurt by either electrical or lifting hazards.
A recently published Amtrust study found that the largest number of claims are filed by workers who are injured by sharp objects. The second highest number are submitted by those who have slips and falls. Most of the incidents occur because restaurant managers fail to identify and address recurring incidents.
Restaurant management analysts say that employers can do more to reduce these injury rates by training their staff to wear protective equipment such as slip-resistant shoes or cut-resistant gloves. They can be reminded to keep all pathways clean and to always clean up spills right away. If employees will be using knives, then they should be instructed to keep them sharpened and taught how to effectively use them to cut different foods.
Safety analysts point out that restaurant workers’ injury risks go down when they use equipment guards and follow instructions for using the different pieces as the manufacturers recommend. Fire suppression systems, proper ventilation, and non-slip mats can also reduce the risk of injury among workers.
Safety experts suggest that employees should be taught to announce when they’re carrying hot plates through the kitchen and as they move about from station to station. This can greatly reduce the risk of burns and workers colliding into one another.
Restaurant workers shouldn’t be just trained once, but have refresher sessions regularly. Those who are injured at work because their employer fails to perform the necessary training, provide the necessary safety equipment or to maintain safe and clean premises have rights. An attorney can advise you of legal remedies that you can pursue in Pennsylvania to recover medical costs and lost wages.