It is risky to work in the food service industry. Restaurant and bar occupations can involve many obvious and hidden dangers, owing to the nature of being around hot food, wet floors, and sharp objects.
Fortunately, part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees who get hurt on the job can apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits. According to national averages, a single restaurant can expect to receive four Workers’ Compensation claims annually, amounting to more than $45,000. Yet avoiding accidents in the first place is always preferential to employees needing medical treatment and time off because of an injury.
If you work in the restaurant business, this discussion will examine the most frequently reported injuries and how to prevent them from happening.
Frequently Reported Injuries for Those Working in Restaurants
- Cuts, scrapes, and punctures. Knives and forks are part of everyday life when you work in a bustling kitchen. It is no wonder that so many back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house workers get cut every day. Although most cuts can be fixed with normal first aid, some may be more serious. Nearly a quarter of all Workers’ Compensation claims from the restaurant sector involve these types of wounds.
- Slip and fall accidents. The floors in a restaurant can become slick fast with spilled drinks, splashes of oil, and particles of raw or cooked foods. As a result, workers can take tumbles that may lead to anything from bruises and back sprains to broken bones and concussion. Proper cleanup of all floor surfaces can help reduce the chance of employees falling.
- Thermal and chemical burns. Every year, around one out of every 10 restaurant-related Workers’ Compensation claims deals with some type of burn. Thermal, or heat, burns are understandable; any place that serves hot food is going to have stoves, hot water, and maybe deep fryers. It should be noted that chemical burns from harsh cleaning supplies can also be problematic. A single serious burn can take months to heal and lead to scarring and disfigurement.
- Electrocution. Servers, food preparers, and bussers often forget that they are working in an atmosphere that tends to mix moisture and electricity. A single frayed wire can lead to a nasty shock, or a fatal electrocution event.
Precautions to Avoid Restaurant Job Injuries
Although some accidents cannot be foreseen or avoided, others can be anticipated and avoided. Remember to take precautions if you work at a restaurant, bar, or any food service establishment. These can include wearing proper footwear, lifting heavy objects correctly, keeping high-traffic areas free from clutter, and drying floors regularly. A little prevention can go a long way toward keeping you and your coworkers safer.
What to Do after a Restaurant Accident
After being injured, a restaurant worker may wonder what to do next.
Federal law maintains that all restaurants need to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers’ Compensation pays for your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages after an on-the-job accident. As a restaurant industry worker, you should feel empowered to submit a claim with your employer, even if your injury seems minimal or is fully covered by another type of insurance.
What happens if your claim is initially denied by the Workers’ Compensation provider? It might be worth a phone call to a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. The lawyer will listen to your situation and can provide advice on how you might want to proceed. Remember that you can always appeal an initial denial with Workers’ Compensation.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Restaurant Workers Recover from Job-Related Accidents
If a restaurant job injury caused you to miss work and you were denied Workers’ Compensation benefits by your employer or the Workers’ Compensation insurance company, reach out to the West Chester Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our legal team will protect your rights and fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.