Restaurant and Kitchen Workers
From food trucks to five-star establishments, the popularity of cooking shows and contests has glamorized the restaurant industry. However, the kitchen is also a dangerous environment, and restaurant and kitchen workers face several safety hazards, both obvious and unseen daily. Even though many employers go to great lengths to maintain a safe work environment, accidents can and do happen. An injury can seriously impact both your short and long-term ability to earn an income. The South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP represent restaurant and kitchen workers who have been injured on the job and can help you receive the compensation you need to recover.
Common Safety Hazards in Restaurants
- Slip and falls on wet, soapy, or greasy floors are a risk for food industry workers both in and outside the kitchen
- Burns when working with hot oil, steaming pots, scalding water, or hot appliances
- Cuts and lacerations are a major risk given all the sharp equipment used by kitchen workers
- Ergonomic hazards are a risk for those lifting heavy materials, doing repetitive tasks, standing for long hours, and using awkward postures such as reaching
- Electrical hazards exist when proper maintenance procedures are not followed for electrical appliances and equipment
Injuries Common Injuries of Restaurant and Kitchen Workers
When proper safety procedures are not in place, workers can suffer the consequences in the form of serious injuries, such as:
- Broken bones and head injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sprains and strains
- Heat stress injuries
- Severe burns from fryers, hot ovens, steam, scalding liquids, and kitchen fires
- Cuts and lacerations
- Electrocution, shock, or death from exposed wiring, faulty electrical equipment, or wet conditions
Safety in Restaurants and Kitchens
There are many steps employers can take to keep restaurant and kitchen workers safe. Besides providing protective gear, such as gloves and aprons, they are responsible for training their employees about safety in the workplace and best practices for avoiding accidents and injuries. Restaurant and kitchen workers should always wear slip-resistant shoes that are not made of canvas.
Important safety practices include:
- Keeping the workplace clean, uncluttered, and dry; spills should be cleaned up immediately and marked with signage while drying. Areas prone to wetness, such as ice machines, should have rugs to absorb liquids.
- Never leaving hot oil and grease unattended and emptying grease traps frequently
- Using anti-fatigue mats in stations where staff stand for long periods of time
- Doing regular maintenance checks of electrical cords and connections
- Making sure cooking areas have good ventilation
If you see unsafe conditions in your workplace, report them to your employer immediately. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, seek medical care and report your injury to your employer right away. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an experienced South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you receive the maximum allowable benefits for your case.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Recover Benefits for Injured Workers
If you were injured while working in a restaurant or kitchen, contact a South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP today. We are solely dedicated to helping injured workers successfully recover benefits. For a free consultation, call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly represent clients throughout Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.