Every year, fast-food restaurants employ millions of American teens and young adults who work to support their education, help their families, or buy their dream cars. Unfortunately, these restaurants are also where many young workers get injured, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Based on research conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Emergency rooms treated about 44,800 injured young adult restaurant employees. Of those, 28,000 (63 percent) occur in fast-food establishments from burger joints (52.6 percent) to pizzerias (12.6 percent) to chicken or fish diners (11.7 percent).
Workers are prone to all sorts of injuries due to the nature of the job. Juggling multiple responsibilities (mopping floors, flipping burgers, preparing hot coffee, etc.) in a fast-paced environment can instill a pressure to take shortcuts while ignoring safety precautions. Frequent repetition in daily tasks can establish overconfidence, which may induce carelessness. Employees are also exposed to many potential hazards from sizzling grills to harmful chemicals in cleaning solvents.
NIOSH determined that most restaurant injuries involved burns or resulted from falls due to wet or greasy floors. The type of injury also varied by gender. Males were more likely to sustain damage from cooking (burns and lacerations) while females were more likely to incur injuries from cashiering or cleaning tables (sprains and strains).
Whatever your responsibilities are in the kitchen or the dining area, here are some safety tips to follow to help avoid injury on the job:
- Use insulated, fireproof gloves and cleaning tools with handles
- When handling objects such as pots and vats, move slowly and carefully near corners
- Be wary of uneven floor surfaces or rips in the carpet
- Avoid leaving metal spoons in pots and pans while cooking
- Slowly lower food in hot oil instead of dropping them to reduce splash
- Wear nonskid shoes while the floor is wet
- If possible, use slip-resistant flooring to prevent falls and slipping
- Avoid reaching over or across hot surfaces
BMR Insurance wants you to be safe but no matter how much you prepare, accidents can be unpredictable. Do you own a fast food franchise or restaurant? If you have questions about worker’s compensation or liability coverage, we want to help. Give us a call at 714-838-1911.