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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Common Food Service Worker Injuries


Food service workers are found in many occupational settings, from restaurants, bars, and coffee shops to hotels, schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Though the unique details of the job can vary, there are some hazards faced by nearly every food service worker, regardless of where they work or what they do. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common injuries that food service workers face, as well as how these injuries can affect their workers’ compensation claims.

Burn Injuries

Hot foods and drinks are one cause of burn injuries, but working in a kitchen also means many workers are exposed to open flames and heating elements as well. There are a number of ways a food service worker can sustain a burn, and these burns can vary in severity from minor, but painful, to life-threatening. Nearly one-third of all work-related burn injuries occur in a restaurant setting. Burns can leave lasting scarring and nerve damage, and may even cause disfigurement or loss of body function in burn victims.

Lacerations & Puncture Wounds

Sharp knives and kitchen tools, broken glass, and other implements can lead to nicks, lacerations, puncture wounds, and other serious injuries. At the very least, a small wound is an inconvenience and may result in a worker being sent home early and losing wages and tips. More serious injuries can result in painful cuts, the loss of fingers, and soft tissue damage.

Eye Injuries

Many food service workers also come into contact with hot grease and caustic cleaning chemicals, often without proper eye protection. Splashes and spatters can cause burns and eye injuries. There also are risks of eye injuries in tight quarters when carrying trays, dishware or silverware, or other objects aloft and at eye level.

Sprains & Strains

Often, lifting heavy items or reaching for items that are overhead is part of the job for food service workers, but handling heavy loads, making repetitive motions, or making unnatural motions can cause painful soft tissue injuries that can take weeks or even months to properly heal.

Fall-Related Injuries

Many food service workers also are at a greater risk of slip and fall accidents. Spilled food and drinks can create hazardous footing, but so can the cleanup efforts if they are not properly done. All wet floors should be clearly marked and dried whenever possible. Falls from heights, such as from ladders or on stairs are also a risk to food service workers. Balancing trays or heavy containers of food can affect their balance and make it more difficult to safely navigate treacherous footing.

As a food service worker, it’s important that you are aware of your rights when it comes to workers’ compensation and on-the-job injuries—as well as when you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party.

Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law is prepared to help you understand your legal options and defend your rights. With more than ten years of dedicated legal experience, our Albuquerque workers’ compensation lawyer is well-versed in the unique aspects of the law and can handle even the most complex cases. Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more!

Contact our firm online, or by calling (505) 219-2176.