An accident attorney can be a very useful ally in the event that you sustain a workplace injury that causes you to miss work or results in medical expenses. Restaurants typically have many potential hazards that can cause workplace injuries. The experts here at Allen Schulman and Associates in Canton, Ohio want to ensure that you are aware of these potential risks in the restaurant industry and what you can do to keep your workplace a safe and accident free environment.
Restaurant Accident Information and Statistics
Restaurants of all types can pose potential hazardous threats to their employees no matter if they are fast food restaurants or a sit-down establishment. There have been around 44,000 injuries over a 24-month period according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Of those approximate 44,000 injuries, around 63 percent of the accidents occurred in fast food establishments with most of the injured employees being teenagers.
Fast food restaurants tend to see more cases of workplace injuries because nearly half of all food industry injuries are caused by grease or hot oil that is commonly used in fast food restaurants. The grease and oil contribute to accidents by causing slips and falls as well as burns. Cuts are another frequent cause of workplace injuries in the restaurant business.
Restaurants pose such a threat for employees due to the nature of the business. Slips are common in the industry as things can often get spilled in the kitchen as well as in the dining area. Hot grease and oil can not only make for a dangerous area on the floor if spilled, but can also easily burn employees at the temperatures that the oils and grease are heated to. Those employees who work with ovens, deep fryers, and stoves are also at risk for severe burns that may require medical attention. Chemical burns are also a possibility in the restaurant industry.
Another common workplace injury is the muscle strain or injury due to heavy lifting or frequent and repetitive lifting. Restaurant employees that are required to regularly lift tables, chairs, and heavy trays may start to have injuries over long periods of time. If these injuries go untreated then they could continue or even worsen.
In some styles of restaurant, the employees may be required to deliver food outside the restaurant which puts them at additional risk of being injured by inattentive drivers. Employees should have a designated area where they can deliver this food without being put into harm’s way.
Accident Prevention in Restaurants
In the event that you are involved in a workplace injury you will want to consult with an accident attorney. Not only will they be able to get you compensation to account for your medical bills, pharmacy prescriptions, loss wages, and pain and suffering, but they should also be able to influence your employer to make a safer work environment. Preventing workplace injuries is vitally important when it comes down to the safety of the employees.
Many workplace accidents can be avoided with attentiveness and the ability to closely follow instructions. Wearing protective gear is also important when it comes to protecting yourself from injury in the workplace. If the restaurant you work in does not have adequate safety measures in place, then your accident attorney can help change their policy to ensure that no one has to suffer the same injury that you sustained while on the job.
Safe practices in the restaurant industry can also be put into place to help safeguard employees from injury. Grease and oil should be allowed to cool before you must remove it from its container. Slip resistant surfaces and mats can help protect employees against spills due to grease, oil, or other liquids. Non-skid shoes can also help reduce the chances of a fall.
It’s also important for employers to properly educate their employees on how to handle various emergencies. If you did not receive adequate training during your employment, then you may speak with your accident attorney so that this problem can be rectified. Employees should know how to handle different kinds of kitchen fires in order to protect themselves. They should also receive training about safety in the restaurant workplace. Education is a big part of keeping your staff safe.
When Accidents Happen
Regardless of how careful the employees are trained, how they respond in situations, and how well safety procedures are followed, it is still likely that there will be an occasional accident. Thankfully, most restaurants carry workers’ compensation insurance for accidents such as these. These benefits will normally cover necessary medical expenses, prescriptions, any follow up care that may be needed, and partial wages to cover the lost wages. Unfortunately, with more severe workplace injuries this is not always enough. That’s why you should hire an accident attorney in the event of a workplace injury.
An accident attorney will be familiar with the laws in your area as well as having the experience needed to be able to understand the situation and work towards getting you a settlement that will be able to cover all of your expenses and lost wages.