The Workplace Injuries Faced by Restaurant and Fast Food Workers
Bay News 9 recently reported that Universal Orlando is looking to hire over 300 new workers for its upcoming CityWalk restaurant, Bigfire. This obviously represents a substantial opportunity for economic growth for many future workers and their families in the Florida community. However, this also presents an opportunity to spotlight something that no restaurant or fast food worker is thinking of on hiring day – the fact that workplace injuries are a real possibility in the restaurant and fast food industry.
How Often Do Injuries Occurs to Workers in this Industry?
Unfortunately, statistics suggest that they occur quite often. For example, a 2015 study conducted on behalf of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health yielded results indicating that 87 percent of fast food workers had reportedly suffered from some type of injury within the past year, including 78 percent who had suffered multiple injuries.
What Are the Hazards of the Restaurant and Fast Food Industry?
Injuries in the workplace can be devastating for workers in the food service industry and, depending on severity, can even potentially put an end to an injured worker’s career. However, there are many different ways that workers can be injured. In the study mentioned above, almost 80 percent of fast food workers reported being been burned on the job within the past year and over 70 percent had suffered multiple burns in the past year. In addition to the potential for burns from both heat and chemicals posing a risk to restaurant and fast food workers, workers also face potential hazards such as:
- Cuts, scrapes, and punctures. Even in more casual fast food restaurants where much of the food is prepackaged, the workers who prepare food are exposed to multiple opportunities to injure themselves.
- Slip and falls. From accidental spills by young patrons to bits of leftover food to liquids ending up on the floor in a busy kitchen, both fine dining and fast food restaurants present substantial opportunity for workers to slip and fall.
- Back and spine injuries. Whether workers are tasked with unloading heavy shipments of various food types or are simply strained from lifting trays during long shifts that consist almost entirely of standing, it is understandable how easily workers can pull a muscle or tear a ligament that causes chronic back pain.
What Other Factors Can Contribute to These Injuries?
In addition to the day to day hazards that restaurant and fast food workers may face, there are other factors that contribute to these workplace injuries. These factors include:
- Inadequate training
- Not hiring enough workers
- Extended shifts such as “doubles” that lead to worker fatigue
- Pressure from management during busy periods during which safety is compromised for time
Have You Been Injured While Working in a Restaurant?
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.