Petrillo & Goldberg Law Blog

New Jersey workers' compensation lawyer

The perils of the workplace for restaurant workers

Generally, when referring to workplace hazards and dangers, we think of those workers who are employed in industries such as construction and manufacturing. However, people who work in the restaurant industry are also susceptible to the risk of injury and illness in the workplace. Restaurant employers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their employees,

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 70,000 restaurant workers per year are injured to the extent to which they need to take a minimum of one day off from work. Surprisingly, approximately 20 percent of restaurant employees per year can be so severely hurt that they lose an entire month of work. Among the most typical injuries restaurant workers confront as occupational hazards are injuries to the wrist, hand, back and shoulders; burns; lacerations, bruises and cuts; and sprains and strains.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of the hazards faced by restaurant workers are equipment, like deep fryers, grills and stoves that can be defective or unsafe, and cause burns. Other hazards include slippery or wet floors; injuries caused by lifting loads that are too heavy without the use of helpers or assisting devices; chemical exposure that creates respiratory problems and other health issues; and cuts from incorrectly guarded machinery used for baking and slicing. In addition, employees, particularly those who deal with money, may be injured due to an assault. OSHA requires that employers provide a workplace that is safe, and devoid of hazards. When employers neglect to correct or lessen known dangers, workers may suffer injuries due to unsafe working conditions.

It is OSHA’s recommendation that employers implement effective safety and health measures in order to reduce injuries in the workplace for employees as well as to ensure the safety of customers. It is imperative that employers do not cut corners and devalue the health and safety of their workers in favor of short-term profits. By providing comprehensive health and safety programs, employers will reduce costs by helping avoid employee injuries and resulting workers’ compensation claims.