5 Common Work Injuries in Restaurants

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For a smooth running of the business, a restaurant must operate as a well-oiled machine.  Throughout the course of the days, there are a number of different things that have to go correctly to satisfy customers and keep the business going.  However, an injury to a customer could bring the whole operation to a screeching halt.

What occurs when restaurant staff members are affected by injuries?  There is a vast array of positions within the foodservice industry; these include head chef, cooks, and cashiers. Irrespective of position a staff member occupies, he or she is still faced with the same types of risks as other employees. Being knowledgeable of what are some of the most common work injuries can assist employees in avoiding them. Below are 5 common work injuries in restaurants:


Burn marks are virtually a rite of passage where restaurant employees are concerned, and this is particularly true when it comes to chefs with extended tenures working the grill.  Ovens, deep fryers, hot splashing liquids and steam are all components of restaurant life and if not properly handled, they present dangerous risks.  Any worker who handles food should use protective gloves and oven mitts and make sure all machines are used only according to directions.


Similar to burns, lacerations and cuts are unfortunately common occurrences in the foodservice industry as well. Meat slicers, knives and broken glass can potentially cause nasty cuts to happen, which could further result in more risks linked to blood-borne pathogens. For employees who work with sharp instruments, they must use protective gloves and make sure all machines and sharp blades are in optimal condition.

Slips and Falls

Having to deal with a customer who has been involved in a slip and fall in the restaurant is one thing; and it is another thing to deal with the issue when a staff member is involved. Whether it was caused by a wet surface from freshly cleaned areas or spills near a sink, slips and falls have resulted in a number of injuries among restaurant staff. Breaks, fractures, sprains, and long-term damage could result from a worker becoming injured in this manner.

The risk of having this type of liability hanging over the head is already high enough from customers and it is even higher for staff members. Walking on a tainted floor, like a grease spot, boosts the risk of an employee slipping by roughly 14.6 times.  These injuries can be avoided by workers having access to slip-resistant mats or wearing non-slip shoes, while being conscious to look out for wet spots.

Ergonomic Injuries

These types of injuries are the ones associated with repetitive work. Ergonomic injuries include nerve damage, muscle pain, back pain, foot pain and neck pain. Workers should consistently remember to take breaks to stretch or go for brisk walks, placing focus on those pain points in order to remain loose.

Sprains and Strains

Hard-to-reach or misplaced items could result in worker injury as a result of trips or overreaching. In addition, restaurant employees could suffer from strains as a result of lifting improperly. When these injuries come about, muscle ointments, analgesic heat rubs and aspirin could help in reducing pain and maintaining productivity.

Workers’ Compensation Within This Industry

Insurance for Restaurant Workers’ Compensation covers a wide scope of injuries for restaurant workers. These include those that happen off-site when required work is being done and repetitive stress conditions resulting from working within the industry. This coverage safeguards restaurant owners against incurring costs and offers loss control solutions to prevent accidents and promote a safer and healthier workplace culture.

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