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Burn injuries in the fast food industry

Sometimes, fast food workers are injured while on the job. It appears that one type of workplace injury that might be particularly prevalent in the fast food industry are burn injuries. In a survey by an advocacy group, 79 percent of the fast food workers who were surveyed reported that, in the past year, they had suffered a burn at work.

Recently, several McDonald's restaurants have been accused by workers of having failed to take adequate steps to protect workers from burn injuries and other workplace injuries. Specifically, some workers who say they suffered burns while working at the restaurants have filed workplace safety complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against the restaurants. The complaints allege that the restaurants allow conditions to exist (such as too quick of a work pace, understaffing and greasy floors) which contribute to worker injuries. The complaints also allege that proper first aid supplies are lacking at many of the restaurants.

How big of a problem do you think injury risks, such as burn injury risks, are in the fast food industry? What do you think are the biggest burn injury risks for workers at fast food restaurants? Do you think that fast food restaurants, generally, are doing enough to protect workers from on-the-job burn injuries? If not, what sorts of additional safety steps do you think such restaurants should be taking?

Burn injuries suffered on the job can have some very serious impacts on workers. An important thing for California fast-food workers who suffer burn injuries to be aware of is that the state's workers' compensation laws may entitle them to benefits for their injuries. Attorneys can provide workers' compensation guidance to workers who have suffered on-the-job burn injuries.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "McDonald's facing complaints over worker burns," Christine Mai-Duc, March 16, 2015

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