Florida Workers’ Comp: Most Common Food Service Injuries

Florida workers’ comp is supposed to cover most injuries for restaurant workers. Restaurant employees suffer the most lost workdays as a result of slips and falls. Foodservice workers may injure several parts of their bodies in falls or sprain their wrists or hands when carrying something. Contact a Florida workers’ comp lawyer if you are injured in a restaurant while working.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in full-service restaurants suffered 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2019. About one-third of these injuries required time off from work.

How Common Are Restaurant Worker Injuries?

Restaurant workers are more likely to sustain injuries based on the nature of their work:

  • Injuries such as scrapes, cuts, and, punctures
  • Burns are caused by hot surfaces or oil
  • A strained or sprained muscle if you fall, do repetitive tasks, stand for long stretches, or lift heavy objects

How to Reduce Injuries and Lost Time for Food Service Workers:

It is extremely common for workers in the food industry to sustain injuries due to slips, strains, and other types of injuries. Oily or wet floors, inadequate lighting, tripping hazards such as loose rugs, a cluttered work environment, or improper lifting techniques can all result in these types of injuries.

Restaurant worker accidents may not be entirely preventable; however, there are some things that you can do to make your workplace a safer place to work. These include:

Keeping Floors Clean and Dry Throughout the Facility:

To ensure spills have been properly handled and cleanup activities are properly completed, management should keep an established schedule that ensures detailed procedures are followed. Make sure the area around refrigerators and freezers is kept dry and free of ice and water. Floors should be cleaned daily, but should also be periodically decreased, especially in high traffic areas.

Use Non-Slip Rubber Mats:

You can reduce the likelihood of slips or falls by keeping your floors clean and dry, but make sure to go further by installing rubber mats or non-slip mats around your most accident-prone areas. Sinks, doorways, and preparation and beverage stations are examples of such areas prone to accidents. Replace these mats as often as necessary to help employees avoid tripping over rolled corners. These types of mats are prone to wearing out and the corners can eventually roll up and cause an accident.

Florida Workers' Comp

Wear Proper Footwear:

During shifts, employees are encouraged to wear non-slip footwear, as slips and falls can be prevented with the right footwear. Sneakers and athletic shoes may have rubber soles, but that doesn’t necessarily make them slip-resistant. Select the kind of footwear specifically customized in accordance with restaurant industry dynamics.

Eliminate Clutter from High Traffic Areas:

Catering workers generally move around at a fast pace, often carrying trays of food or beverages that could block their visibility. Employees should always have an open path in front of them. When not in use, store items like cables, hoses, boxes, buckets, trash cans, extra chairs, tray stands, and all other possible obstructions neatly and promptly.

Assigning Repetitive Tasks Throughout the Day Between Workers:

The repetitive nature of these tasks can lead to muscle fatigue and pain, especially if employees have to perform the same tasks over and over again. Distribute repetitive tasks, such as preparing food with many cuts, to different people throughout the day. An ergonomic workstation may also help employees avoid some inconveniences by allowing them to take frequent breaks from this type of activity. Employees should be encouraged to stretch their muscles as needed for relief during this type of activity.

Lift and Carry Using Proper Techniques:

When lifting heavy objects such as pots or boxes filled with water, muscle strain may also occur in the shoulders, back, neck, and legs. For example, bending your knees and carrying the object close to the body, keeping the heaviest part close to your body.

It is suggested to use help when moving anything that weighs over 50 pounds. Hand trucks and carts are ideal materials handling devices to reduce handling extremely heavy items.

Stay Safe from Burns:

Restaurant workers should wear appropriate clothing and use splatter guards or gloves when handling hot pots and oven mitts. Burns can be avoided by wearing appropriate clothing and wearing oven mitts when handling hot pots.

Contact a Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyer:

For a free, confidential consultation for your case, fill out our online form today or contact us to arrange a free session. We are committed to providing exceptional representation in Florida workers’ comp cases.

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