What Are the Most Common Employee Injuries in Restaurants?

While not listed as one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, restaurant employees are not immune to injuries on the job. Even though most are not serious, some can be quite debilitating for relatively long periods of time. For this reason, it is imperative that restaurant owners and managers take every step possible to prevent accidents which are usually the underlying cause of these injuries. 

Foodborne illnesses aren’t exactly accidents, but they are common enough to be concerned about as a result of improper food handling procedures. So then, what are the most common injuries employees sustain when working in a restaurant? You can probably guess most of them, but let’s look at them anyway.

The Three Most Common Types of Injuries Sustained by Employees

The most common injuries are grouped together by type. You have probably already guessed what they are, but do you know by what percentages? That’s something every restaurateur should know. These three classifications of common employee injuries are:

  1. Punctures, Scrapes and Cuts – Approximately 23%
  2. Slips and Falls – Approximately 18%
  3. Burns and Scalds – Approximately 12%

With the remaining 47% being a variety of injuries of varying degrees. The following percentages were reported on this site, a supplier for the food industry in the United States.

A Word on Preventing and Compensating for Injuries

Actually, the above information is a collation of injuries sustained and claimed on workers’ comp for restaurants between the years 2015 and 2019. With so many claims being filed each year, it is imperative that restaurant managers, front and back end, mandate safety training during onboarding and throughout the employees’ tenure with the company.

While workers’ comp is required by law in all states but one, severe injuries may necessitate compensation above and beyond the amount covered in the insurance carried by the restaurant. For this reason, many restaurant owners carry insurance above and beyond the minimum amount required within their state laws. This not only helps to protect their employees but also helps to safeguard the financial wellbeing of their establishment.

Types of Safety Training Available

In every industry there are safety courses to ensure that employees understand safe operating procedures. One of the very best programs available is OSHA’s Restaurant Industry Safety training which is a 10 hour course which they suggest you make available to all employees. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration only certifies courses that are in accordance with their rules and regulations. The focus of safety training is to ensure that accidents don’t happen, or at the very least are kept to a minimum.If you have ever taken their course in restaurant safety, you will see those three common types of injuries addressed thoroughly within the program. From general safety courses for the entire team to longer courses for managers and team leaders, this is perhaps the best way to avoid those injuries so that claims on your workers’ comp are kept to a minimum. It really is in everyone’s best interest, so train today to avoid compensating tomorrow.

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