At first glance, an average restaurant might not have that many obvious safety hazards, but they are certainly present. It has been reported that one out of every 20 workplace accidents and illnesses happen at dining and drinking establishments across the globe. Cintas Corporation manufacturers items like fire protection products, entrance mats, restroom supplies, and first aid items for companies, and they have created a list of the four most common injuries resulting from kitchen accidents.
The Hazardous Four
Restaurant employees can become injured when trying to grab a hard-to-reach item, like a box on a high shelf. This falls under the category of sprains and strains, which can also happen when a worker trips over something or lifts something heavy the wrong way. Burns are also fairly common, with about 12,000 cases recorded each year. Although minor burns can be attended to with first-aid supplies, more serious ones from hot stoves, fryers, and boiling water may call for an emergency room visit.
Punctures and lacerations also made the list, and this is not surprising since dining establishments have slicers, knives, broken glass, broken dishes, and other sharp instruments. Last on the list are eye injuries, caused by hot grease splashes and cleaning chemicals.
What Restaurant Owners Can Do
These specific dangers can be reduced by implementing and maintaining safety protocols, which can be initiated by restaurant owners. This will not only lessen the impact of these injuries; it can increase productivity and reduce restaurant liability. Foodservice operations can have specific first-aid programs that take their unique operations into consideration.
To begin with, restaurants should have well-stocked first-aid cabinets with supplies that address the four main hazards and other dangers. It should be regularly checked and stocked, and every employee should know its location, how to perform first-aid, and how to deal with emergency situations. Employees should be trained upon hiring and be provided with refresher courses; ongoing safety initiatives and activities can keep this information fresh and accessible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that businesses can save from $4 to $6 in injuries and fatalities costs for each dollar invested in safety programs.
Action, not Reaction
Unfortunately, many restaurants rely on a more reactive approach to workplace safety. A simple thing like forgetting to restock the first-aid cabinet can be disastrous if an employee gets burned and there is no burn ointment available.
Many restaurants have employee safety manuals, and those that do not may wish to create their own. These can have procedures for cleaning up broken glass, how to lift heavy items, and how to serve hot food and drink. Websites like OSHA provide recommendations and guidelines for these types of manuals. Employees should also be instructed not to rush or run in the building, especially when the kitchen and dining areas are crowded. Owners should also provide adequate safety equipment, like hot pads, goggles, and potholders for their staff.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Restaurant Workers Claim Injury Benefits
If you are suffering from any type of work-related injury, get in touch with the knowledgeable Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We offer free case evaluations and professional legal guidance. Call us today at 888-PITT-LAW or complete an online form.
We assist all types of injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.