Working in a California restaurant can be exhilarating. You may enjoy interacting with the customers and the high-energy pace of the dinner hour, especially when a customer leaves an appreciative tip. However, restaurant work carries a high rate of accidents and injuries.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic received reports of about 190,000 restaurant-related injuries in a single year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourages restaurant managers to create a safety-conscious environment among their workers. If you are aware of the potential dangers on the job, you may be more able to avoid becoming a victim of a workplace injury.
Strains and sprains are among the most common injuries in your line of work. Carrying heavy trays and bussing tables may cause you to twist or strain your back, neck or shoulders.
Cuts and burns also make up a large percentage of the types of injuries restaurant workers may suffer. Cuts most often occur from knives and broken glasses whereas you may be burned carrying hot dishes or beverages or even reaching across a lit candle. Of course, if you work in the kitchen, a careless moment near the oven, stove or fryer may result in a devastating burn.
Slips and trips
There are many areas in a restaurant where you may be vulnerable to tripping or slipping, which may lead to bruises, broken bones or concussions. Safety advocates advise special caution around zones including:
- Wet floors in front of the ice machine or sink
- Greasy areas near the cook station
- Cluttered hallways or storage spaces
- Uneven areas where the floor changes from tile to carpeting
- Blind corners when your hands are full
- Swinging doors leading in and out of the kitchen
Your manager may require you to wear special shoes to prevent slipping, but you can help yourself and your co-workers by being aware of dangerous situations and dealing with them as quickly as possible.
The results of a workplace injury
Getting hurt on the job can have long-lasting effects, even if the injury does not require hospitalization. Cuts, burns, broken bones and head injuries may require you to take time off work to recover and heal, and this could mean lost wages.
Fortunately, workers' compensation can provide you with the funds you need to cover your medical bills and lost wages, but you must apply for that compensation. Workers' compensation laws can be complicated and frustrating, so seeking assistance and advice may facilitate the claims process.