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Most Common Injuries for Restaurant Workers

November 09, 2022

Most Common Injuries for Restaurant Workers

Restaurant or food service workers face a wide range of injury hazards on the job. Many accidents suffered by restaurant workers could have been avoided or prevented. Fortunately, if a food service employee is injured on the job, they can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

Common Restaurant Worker Injuries

Some of the most common injuries suffered at work by restaurant workers include:

  • Lacerations, abrasions, and puncture wounds
  • Burns, typically caused by hot oil, fire, or hot cooking surfaces
  • Broken bones and soft tissue injuries caused by overexertion, repetitive strain, or slip/trip and fall accidents

Injuries to hands and wrists were some of the most frequently-injured body parts, with these injuries being most likely to cause restaurant workers to miss days from work.

How to Prevent Restaurant Worker Injuries

Steps that restaurants and their employees can take to prevent work accidents and injuries include:

  • Keeping floors clean and dry – Restaurants should conduct regular maintenance checks to look for any spills on the floor. Any spilled liquids or food should be promptly cleaned up once discovered by an employee. Floors should also be regularly deep-cleaned to remove any grease buildup that can increase the risk of slips and falls. 
  • Use non-skid mats and flooring – Restaurants should also install anti-slip mats or flooring in the kitchen and other food or drink prep areas, or in other parts of the restaurant that may be more prone to slip and fall accidents. These mats should be inspected regularly and replaced as they wear out or become damaged, as a worn or damaged mat can pose a tripping hazard.
  • Require workers to wear appropriate footwear – Restaurant workers should wear slip-resistant footwear. It isn’t enough to wear regular athletic shoes. Instead, look for shoes specifically designed for the restaurant or food service industry. 
  • Remove clutter – Restaurants should always keep walking paths and high-traffic areas of any clutter or debris, including cords, hoses, boxes, buckets, or extra furniture. Workers often carry trays and bins that can obstruct their view of the floor.
  • Encourage regular breaks – Restaurant workers should be afforded regular breaks throughout their shifts to help avoid injuries caused by repetitive strain or stress. In addition, if workers are assigned a highly repetitive task, such as chopping, those tasks should be rotated among staff throughout the shift so that no employee is making the exact same physical movement or motion during their entire shift. 
  • Provide training in proper lifting and carrying – Employers should also ensure that restaurant workers know how to lift and carry heavy trays, bins, or boxes without causing strain or injury. Workers should also be encouraged to have two or more people lift objects weighing more than 50 pounds.
  • Avoid burns – Kitchen staff should wear appropriate clothing that reduces the risk of catching fire due to a lit burner or other heat sources. Staff should also have splatter shields and oven mitts to help avoid burns. Restaurants should also regularly change out frying oil. Finally, workers should be trained to avoid carrying heavy pots of hot food or oil/grease from one location to another. 

Contact a Rochester Workers’ Comp Lawyer to Discuss Your Workplace Injury Case in Washington State

Were you or a loved one injured due to a workplace accident in Washington State? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive workers’ comp attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled workplace injury attorneys at Smith Duran Law represent clients injured in Olympia, Lakewood, Auburn, and University Place. Call (360) 273-5941 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 10118 Highway 12 SW, Rochester, WA, 98579, as well as offices in Tacoma.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

  • Workers’ Compensation

    The Department of Labor and Industries manages claims for injuries at work. You are entitled to money for lost wages, medical treatment, vocational retraining, loss of body function, and in some cases a pension

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    If your injury was caused by someone other than a co‑worker, an auto accident, or defective equipment, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Our attorney will evaluate your case.

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