Over 5 million people are employed in the food and beverage industry in the U.S. and the fast-food sector is at the heart of this. With customers relying on a quick fix for nourishment, the work is fast-paced and strenuous at times.
While most workers manage to get by each day without coming to any harm, there are a considerable number of accidents in fast-food restaurants. Recognizing some of the more common sources of injury could assist in fostering an environment that is safer for workers across California.
Whichever role you play in a fast-food restaurant, you are likely to be exposed to heat at some point. Kitchen workers are especially at risk, as they are exposed to ovens, fryers, grills and hot oils all the time. Even as a server, you face a risk of being burned. On busy days, management tends to enlist a full squad of employees, which can make tight kitchen spaces even more confined. It only takes an accidental knock from a fellow employee to force you against a hot stove or other cooking implements.
Sharp implements are utilized all the time in the fast-food sector. Whether it’s opening up deliveries or slicing vegetables, employees are expected to handle sharp blades. To avoid cuts and lacerations, employers have a duty to ensure that equipment is in optimal condition and that staff are competently trained in the risks of handling knives and other sharp objects.
In any working space, there is a risk of falling. These risks are heightened in fast food restaurants because of a lack of space, use of cooking oils and high volume of people. It is vital for both staff and customers that floors remain clear of obstacles as well as clean and dry. Even the tiniest drop of cooking oil on the floor can result in a devastating fall.
Your employer has a duty to ensure that the workplace is as safe as possible. If you have been injured on the job, consider taking a closer look at your legal options.