Working in the food service and restaurant industries can be enjoyable. But it also can be grueling with long hours and work that can take a toll on your body. Plenty of workplace hazards are present for food service and restaurant workers, who by law must be guaranteed a safe workplace.

Back-of-house employees such as prep cooks and cooks face severe cuts and lacerations working with knives and food processors along with burns and scalds while preparing food. Dishwashers may face severe skin and respiratory ailments exposed to cleaning and dishwashing chemicals. And nearly every employee in these industries faces slip-and-fall injuries as well as sprains, strains, joint pain and fatigue due to constant lifting while under a great amount of pressure to work fast.

Cuts, falls, sprains and chemical exposure

An on-the-job injury means you likely are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Many of these workers are young. Among the types of injuries food service industry and restaurant industry workers face include:

  • Lacerations, cuts and punctures: Such injuries occur while working with knives, slicers, grinders, food processors, box cutters, glassware and dishware.
  • Slips, trips and falls: Slips and trips often happen due to liquid such as oil on the floor. Falls sometimes occur while reaching or climbing.
  • Sprains and strains: Ergonomic hazards occur with heavy and awkward lifting, repetitive motion, standing for long periods and awkward bending. Back problems often surface.
  • Burns and scalds: Such injuries can occur due to lowering frozen foods into deep fryers or from cleaning the deep fryers.
  • Skin and respiratory ailments: When handling dishwashing and cleaning products along with pesticides, workers face these dangers.

It is important that employers provide better safety training to food service and restaurant workers who face numerous job hazards. An injury or illness affects them, their family members and their income-making ability.