Safety Tips For Those Working in the Food Service Industry
As stated in an article published recently by Local 10 News, some fast food workers in Florida are combating a workplace threat. Two McDonald’s workers have filed a $500 million class action lawsuit against the company in federal court. The lawsuit alleges that there is an ongoing problem with sexual harassment problem at company-owned stores, and that the two workers were the victims of sexual harassment and physical assaults at a company-owned McDonald’s in Sanford, Florida.
While this lawsuit focuses on one aspect of potential injuries caused by third parties, the reality is that merely working in this industry means that workplace injuries of all kinds are a real possibility.
How Often Are Fast Food Workers Injured?
Determining exactly how often fast food and restaurant workers are injured can be an especially difficult feat due to the high turnover in this industry. However, the results of one report published by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health indicate that as many as 87 percent of fast food workers had reportedly suffered from some type of injury within the past year. And of those, three-quarters had suffered from multiple injuries. As these kinds of statistics were based on self-reporting, it is possible that the actual number of workplace injuries among those in the restaurant and fast food industry is actually much higher.
What Workplace Risks Do Those Working in the Food Service Industry Face?
If thinking about the environment of a food service provider, it is not surprising that the rate of injuries is so high. Whether a fast food store or fine dining restaurant, there are a plethora of workplace hazards that provide plenty of opportunities for injuries such as:
- Burns. Because food service venues contain a kitchen with plenty of hot surfaces and have to be scrubbed down regularly to comply with regulations, it makes sense that the potential for burns from both heat and chemicals is high. In the report outlined above, almost 80 percent of fast food workers reported being burned on the job within the past year and over half had suffered multiple burns in the past year.
- Cuts, scrapes, and punctures. Workers who prepare and even serve food can come into contact with sharp objects that present multiple opportunities to injure themselves.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Simply standing from long periods of time can cause back strain, and that’s before factoring in the other tasks workers can be faced with such as unloading heavy shipments of various food types or lifting stacks of trays.
What Safety Tips Should Those Working in the Food Service Industry Follow?
- Attend all provided trainings
- Use any safety equipment provided and follow procedures
- Take all the breaks you are provided, even if you are understaffed
- Make sure you know where the first aid kit is located
- Don’t be afraid to report an injury to your manager, even if you think it “isn’t a big deal”
Have You Been Injured While Working in the Food Service Industry?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working in the food service industry, we can help. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.