Working in a restaurant presents countless hazards. From hot grease and slippery floors to sharp knives and broken dishes, there’s a lot that can go wrong. A little extra precaution, however, goes a long way, especially on the part of your employers.
The preventative techniques below might help you stay safe at work.
If you are injured on the job, though, rest assured that our team at Ufkes & Bright is here to help you file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Cut Resistant Gloves
Some of the most common injuries in the restaurant industry are cuts, lacerations, and punctures. To reduce your risk of an accident, you should wear cut resistant gloves whenever you are handling a knife, slicer, or sharp object.
Additionally, you should throw out any broken or chipped dishes and glassware and keep all blades in the workplace sharp.
While this last piece of advice may seem counterintuitive, working with an efficient tool can increase your focus and reduce accident-causing strain and fatigue.
If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, ask your boss for a training session beforehand. Your employer should also have rules and regulations in place for you and any other employers using slicers, mixers, grinders, and blenders.
If you work in a restaurant, you probably understand the value of a good pair of shoes. Not only can professional footwear reduce the discomfort of being on your feet all day, but it can also prevent you from slipping and falling on a wet floor or spill.
Your employer should also install non-slip flooring and/or provide rubber mats in especially messy areas.
Keeping your workspace clean of debris, water, and grease can also prevent slips and falls in the restaurant environment. If you have some extra time, a quick spot-clean can save you and your coworkers from a painful accident.
Share the Load
Breakfast, dinner, and lunch rushes can be crazy times for restaurant employees. You might find yourself taking more than a few trips to back-of-house and lifting heavy supplies.
Whenever you lift, make sure to bear the brunt of the weight with your legs to avoid hurting your back. Refer to the training your employer provided to you when you started your job and ask for a safe lifting course if you don’t feel prepared. You should also ask for help whenever possible and avoid lifting items above your chest.
If your employer stores heavy cans or boxes on high shelves, consider asking them to rearrange their storage facilities, so you can lift safely and avoid sprains and strains.
Again, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying something, take multiple trips or ask a coworker for help. While this takes extra time, it’s better than suffering an excruciating back injury.
Don’t Play with Fire
One of the most dangerous aspects of a kitchen is working with fire and heat. If you are using an oven or stove, turn the handles of pots and pans away from your body and make sure there’s no way another person could knock it off the hot surface. When you are finished, turn off your device and warn your coworkers that it may still be hot.
If your kitchen uses steamers or pressure cookers, be sure to steer clear of them while they’re in use, and never open them without an all-clear from the machine.
Any time you use or clean equipment, follow the appropriate protocol. If you are unsure of how to operate a kitchen device, ask your employer to train you.
Nearly 13% of back-of-house accidents are burn-related, so your boss shouldn’t mind taking some extra time to prevent these types of injuries.
Know Your Employer’s Safety Guidelines and Workers’ Comp Policies
Although you can use some of our strategies to promote safety on the job, providing a safe workplace is your employer’s responsibility. When you start a restaurant job, you should be trained and given a copy of your workplace safety procedures.
If you do not receive these materials, it’s OK to ask for them.
What To Do if You Are Injured on the Job
Sometimes, accidents at work can be prevented, or an employer forgets to focus on preventative care. When this is the case, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
We can be reached at (714) 909-2609 and offer free consultations, so you can begin your case in a safe, risk-free environment.
We look forward to hearing from you.