Restaurant Worker Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. With a workforce of over 11 million, the restaurant industry is one of the largest employment generators in the United States. It is also the industry that employs a large number of teenagers, who make up nearly 30% of the total workforce. Data shows that nearly one in three workers in the country started out by working at a restaurant in some capacity.
Risks Involved in Serving
Young people are mostly employed as waiters in restaurants. Though their primary responsibility is to serve food, they might also be required to bus tables in many cases. The job is more difficult than it sounds and involves a number of potential hazards.
- Injuries caused by lifting heavy loads (trays with too many plates and glasses or containers overfilled with dirty dishes).
- Injuries caused by lifting and moving chairs and tables on a constant basis.
- Injuries caused by assuming awkward postures while serving food or clearing the tables.
Risks Involved in Cooking
Young people who are employed as cooks in restaurants face a number of occupational hazards as well.
- Burn injuries caused by accidentally making contact with the fryer or oil while cooking. These types of injuries can also be caused while cleaning the fryer or vents.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning caused as a result of malfunctioning exhaust systems. This is particularly dangerous since high concentrations of CO can be deadly and it cannot be detected by regular smoke alarms as well. The symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and disorientation.
- Injuries caused by unloading and stacking heavy loads of food supplies.
Watch YouTube Video: Preventing Work-Related Burns in Restaurants. This educational video provides safety tips on how to prevent burns while working in a restaurant kitchen.
Electrical Hazards in Restaurants
Restaurant workers, irrespective of their job responsibilities, are exposed to a number of electrical hazards.
- Electric cords that are damaged or worn out.
- Ungrounded outlets as well as outlets that are not wired properly.
- Faulty equipment and wiring.
Injury Risks to Teens in the Restaurant Industry
- A report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows that teenagers working in restaurants are six times more likely to sustain burn injuries than teenage workers from any other industry.
- While the injury rate for male and female teenage workers is quite similar, there are differences in the nature of injuries as well as the tasks performed by male and female workers. Male workers tend to sustain burn injuries and lacerations while cooking. Female workers, on the other hand, tend to sustain sprains, strains, and contusions while attending tables and cashiering.
- Over 50% of burn injuries are caused by hot grease.
- Over 50% of slips and falls are caused by wet and greasy floors.
- Teenagers working in hamburger restaurants have the highest injury rate (52.6%), followed by those working in pizza restaurants (12.6%), and chicken/fish restaurants (11.7%).
These types of work-related injuries could be compensable under workers’ compensation.
Reducing and Preventing the Risk of Injuries at Restaurants
The best way to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries at restaurants is to educate and train teenage workers on safe work practices. They should be provided with all the necessary cleaning tools and personal protective equipment. Slip-resistant floor materials can be used to reduce the risk of slips and falls. Restaurants should be inspected by professionals on a regular basis to make sure all the electrical and mechanical equipment are in perfect working condition.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Young people who work in a restaurant face numerous occupational hazards. If you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident, call me for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can read through some of our settlements and verdicts.
Photo by Bimo Luki on Unsplash
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