While restaurants can deliver some of the most creative and delicious plates of food we’ve ever seen, they’re actually among the more hazardous workplaces you can be in. Work injuries are unfortunately common for a variety of reasons from quick fixes with a first aid kit to serious injuries that could actually sideline employees.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common workplace injuries that insurance companies have come across as a potential workers’ compensation claim.
Slips and Falls
One of the more common injuries in the kitchen stems from a lack of cleanliness and order. Any spills in a restaurant kitchen should be wiped up immediately to eliminate the risk of workers needing medical attention. Employees may look into the medical benefits available to them through workers’ compensation, as such workplace injuries are the result of negligence. This can include payment of medical expenses related to the accident, or even temporary disability benefits, or TTD, to get the injured worker two-thirds of their average weekly wage without taxes.
Beyond cleaning up big messes, having a commercial kitchen that’s set up for easy access can eliminate the chance of workplace injury. Organizing cabinets for accessibility is crucial for kitchen workers to find items quickly, without having anything come flying out that can leave an employee in need of medical care.
Within the reach in refrigerator, make sure items are in order and also that doors for the unit close tightly. Whether it’s a solid door reach or half doors, look to distance the units enough so that, even if they’re open, there’s enough of a safe space that can allow employees to walk by without risking an incident that will require medical treatment. Be sure to also check the condenser of your cooler, making sure it’s clean of any dust and debris that could cause your fridge to go warm and create a potential electric hazard of melted water on the kitchen floor.
With knives of ranging shape, size, and sharpness, it’s easy for chefs to have a slip-up while cutting. It doesn’t matter if you’re a prep cook or Gordon Ramsay; you’re at risk of making one wrong slice to get anything from a slight nick to an injury that could require a trip to the hospital to stitch up.
A workers compensation attorney in Illinois has found that compensation benefits can be available for kitchen workers severely cut, while attorneys work to assure that an employer or insurance company covers a cook’s medical bills. In these negotiations with insurance programs, personal injury attorneys have been able to work out settlements that can be attained via lump sum or as part of a settlement loan for instant access to the money due.
While chefs may want to get creative in their cooking, things can go awry if they aren’t responsible for their equipment. A cook can find themselves getting burnt by way of grease popping in the pan, boiling water, or just getting too close to the flame.
Oftentimes, reactions to hot surfaces like pot handles and cookware can lead to a spill that could make for even greater injury. An injured employee could find themselves with burns that require immediate medical attention by way of ice or cold water to help ease the pain. However, much more severe second and third-degree burns will require much more than what’s in the first aid kit in the kitchen.
These burns can lead to significant medical expenses long-term and keep a chef out of the kitchen for a lengthy period of time, where they should seek to collect workers’ compensation benefits to assure income is still coming to help pay down medical bills and other debts.