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Injuries to restaurant kitchen workers

While all of the guests are enjoying their meals in the dining room and the wait staff is running orders back and forth, it's the kitchen that is keeping the restaurant operating at all times. From the cooks to those who are assisting in the kitchen, this team of workers is critical to the success of any dining establishment.

Recognizing this, it's important that both restaurant workers as well as restaurant owners and managers keep safety as a top priority in the kitchen area. Not only is this one of the most vital components of the business, it's also one of the most dangerous spaces to work within a restaurant. 

Most common injuries to restaurant kitchen professionals

QSR Magazine reports that the top injuries to restaurant kitchen professionals include:

  • Minor and Severe Burns — Kitchen employees frequently handle hot water and oil, and they also operate stoves, ovens and other appliances that generate a significant amount of heat. Minor and severe burns are common in a restaurant kitchen. While minor burns often can be treated quickly and easily with first aid equipment, severe burns may need additional care.
  • Muscle Sprains and Strains — Improper lifting and reaching can lead to sprains and strains amongst restaurant kitchen workers.
  • Puncture Wounds — Kitchen workers also have to use knives on a regular basis, which leaves them at risk of puncturing their skin or suffering from a severe laceration. It is necessary to disinfect these wounds as quickly as possible to prevent further complications.

Preventing injuries in the kitchen

There are many things that employers and employees can do to minimize the risks of working within a restaurant kitchen. First and foremost, the employer must make an effort to minimize safety hazards within the workplace. This requires employers to keep the kitchen area clean and free of obstructions that could result in injuries. In addition, employers also need to provide employees with adequate training that allows them to understand how to use all of the kitchen equipment properly and safely. Any safety equipment that is required to perform the job must be provided by employers to any employees who are hired to work in the kitchen.

Restaurant owners and managers also should have a first aid station within the kitchen area of the restaurant. This first aid station should include the necessary supplies to treat common injuries that may occur in a kitchen, such as cuts or puncture wounds. The station should be placed in an identifiable area that is easy to access, and all employees should know where the first aid station is located.

Of course, the responsibility does not rest solely on the employers. Employees also need to pay attention to all safety training material as well as follow the rules and regulations of their employer as they work in the kitchen each day. Employees need to report any issues that could be a safety hazard so that the employer can address these issues as soon as possible.

What to do if you are injured while working in a restaurant kitchen

The first priority for anyone who is injured while working in a restaurant kitchen is to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Initial injuries should be treated at a first aid station, but medical professionals also may need to be contacted to perform further exams on the injury. In addition to seeking medical care, the incident should be reported quickly to supervisors and managers who work at the restaurant. 

If the injury leaves you unable to continue to perform your duties at the restaurant, you may be eligible for worker's compensation. Worker's compensation is designed to provide employees who are injured on the job site with financial assistance that covers lost wages, health care costs and any detrimental impact on the individual's quality of life.

Contact us today for more information on worker's compensation and to set up a consultation appointment. 

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