Across the nation, thousands of
food service workers bustle away at work in kitchens. From restaurants to hospitals, hotels
to bakeries, kitchen workers turn out comfort food, works of culinary
art, nutritious meals, and delicious treats. What many people don’t
realize, however, is how strenuous cooking can be.
Overuse injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries, can affect
all levels of kitchen workers, from dishwashers and busboys to head chefs.
When proper body mechanics aren’t used, injuries like Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome can occur. Here are some tips to help kitchen workers avoid overuse
injuries and continue working without pain:
Avoid repetitive wrist motion: Flexing and extending your wrist repetitively can lead to friction and
strain on the median nerve. Proper ergonomic equipment and alignment can
help keep the wrist in a neutral position, as can wrist braces. An occupational
therapist can evaluate your work conditions and develop a personalized
solution to protect your joints.
Avoid mechanical stress on your palm: Float your wrists over the edges of countertops while working to prevent
pressure on your wrists. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough instead of
working it out with your hands. Tyr to avoid using tools that push into
your palm or wrist.
Avoid repetitive, forceful gripping and pinching motions: Use adaptive equipment for opening bottles and jars to prevent additional
strain on your hands. When using tools like knives, peelers, and can openers,
choose tools with thicker handlers that allow an easier grip without the
need to close your hand tightly around the handle.
The best way to avoid overuse injuries is to check in with your physician
at the first signs of a problem. If you notice pain, inflammation, stiffness,
or soreness that is lingering, schedule an appointment to discuss your
symptoms with your doctor. If you’ve been injured on the job, our
workers' compensation attorney can help you, as well.
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law is prepared to help you with every step
of your workers’ compensation claim and ensure that you receive
the compensation you are entitled to as an injured worker. Schedule a
free consultation with our legal team to learn more.
Contact our firm when you call (505) 219-2176.