Working in restaurants presents a variety of risks that could result in injuries. Both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house employees face hazards.
Many of the risks that cause injuries are preventable. Both management and employees can do their part to improve workplace safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses common injuries that occur in fast food restaurants, and they are common in other types of restaurants as well. These occur due to safety, chemical, ergonomic and other hazards. The injuries include:
- Bruises and fractures due to slips and falls
- Cuts from knives and slicing equipment
- Burns from hot grease, stoves and ovens
- Sprains and strains due to improper lifting and repetitive motions
- Mental stress due to customers and long hours
Strategies for prevention
There can be a reduction in many of the hazards that cause injuries when there is an implementation of certain safety protocols. To prevent slips and falls, someone should clean up spills as quickly as possible, management can provide non-slip floor mats, and workers should wear non-slip shoes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses various strategies to prevent cuts. Employers should provide box cutters and ensure that there are various sizes and types of knives. Employees should sharpen knives regularly, wear protective gloves and follow other safety practices.
For the prevention of burns, there should be splash guards and automatic fryers, management should train employees on proper safety techniques, and workers should use the proper protective gear. Supportive floor mats, smaller trays and bus pans, step ladders and adequate safety training can prevent a host of injuries due to falls or ergonomic hazards.
Employers must also honor wage and hour laws, which allow for proper breaks and overtime pay. This helps reduce the mental stress of employees.