Individuals discussing the most dangerous professions would almost never include the culinary arts on their list. Although restaurants exist in nearly every community and thousands of people work in the hospitality industry across the state, many people fail to acknowledge the risks inherent in this often demanding kind of work.
Restaurant employees often have to put in long shifts at later times of day, which may put them at increased risk of fatigue and medical issues later in life. Exposure to chemicals and dangerous tools like slicers can also lead to serious injuries.
A restaurant worker who hurts their body may not be able to continue performing their job, regardless of whether they serve tables or work in the kitchen. What are the most common injuries suffered on the job by those working in the food service industry?
Lost time incidents are common
Restaurant workers need to be able to work quickly and handle heavy trays and pans. The injuries suffered in an incident on the job might leave them on able to work for weeks. According to federal workplace safety statistics, lifting is one of the most dangerous job tasks fulfilled by restaurant employees.
The top injury suffered by restaurant workers, according to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is sprains/strains. Such injuries due to overexertion represent roughly a third of reported injuries. The other leading causes of workers needing to take time off include burns, bruises and cuts.
Workers with cuts, burns and overexertion conditions may require weeks off of work. In extreme cases, they may need to change professions.
How workers’ compensation can help
When someone suffers a significant injury on the job, they must report the incident to their employer. They can then potentially file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
If the injury requires professional medical care, workers’ compensation will generally pay the full cost of that treatment. If an employee requires a lengthy leave of absence, workers’ compensation benefits could help replace their wages with disability pay. There are even permanent partial disability benefits for people with lasting symptoms who have to change jobs later.
Learning about risks on the job and the workers’ compensation benefits available if you get hurt can protect those working in high-risk professions.