If you work in the food service industry, you know it can be fast-paced and stressful. There are also several workplace hazards in environments such as restaurants, coffee shops, bars and fast food establishments. If your employer does not take the proper preventative measures, you could get into an accident and suffer injuries.
You should know about common hazards facing food service workers so you can be aware and safe. Here are the top risks you face and how you can avoid injuries at work.
1. Cuts, punctures and lacerations
When you work in a restaurant, you frequently come into contact with knives, broken dishes and slicers. Improper contact with these objects can easily result in getting cut. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration restaurant safety tips, your manager or owner should ensure guards are installed on sharp tools and maintain this equipment to prevent malfunctions.
You likely use hot equipment such as stovetops and fryers. Heated surfaces and grease can cause heat and water burns. To protect against such risks, your restaurant manager should provide splashguards, potholders and oven mitts, and maintain equipment in working order.
3. Ergonomic hazards
Food service work requires lifting various objects and boxes. When they are particularly heavy, you should only lift them with an assistive device or help. Lifting without help or in an unnatural position can cause strains, sprains, nerve damage or pain. Repetitive tasks can result in soreness, fatigue and injuries. The owner or manager of your restaurant should design your work environment and make accommodations to prevent you from getting injured.
There are plenty of other hazards, including tripping, falling and eye injuries. Getting hurt in any of these ways can result in expensive medical bills and lost time at work. If the owner or management at your workplace is at fault for one of these injuries, you may be able to get compensation.