When it comes to worker’s compensation, most people think it is only for factory or construction workers that suffer debilitating injuries due to physical labor or dangerous machinery, but while those may be what we think of when we think of dangerous jobs, even common jobs have their hazards. However, injuries are common in plenty other areas, and as every employer is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, your injuries should be covered. One of the most common, but unreported areas for injury is the commercial kitchen, which is much more hazardous than most diners ever realize.
Commercial kitchens are hot, tight spaces full of fast moving people, hot objects, slippery floors, and sharp objects. Due to the pressure to put out good food in a timely manner, accidents are common among the people the work the kitchen as well as in the dining room. Typically they are minor – a small cut that needs a bandage or a slip that leaves someone with a sore behind for a few hours. However, commercial kitchens are also the perfect storm for a major accident that can leave a worker with high medical bills and unable to return back to work for a few weeks if not permanently.
Common Commercial Kitchen Injuries
Both the front of the house and especially the back of the house pose risk to restaurant employees. While the kitchen area is decidedly more dangerous, even the wait staff can suffer debilitating work accidents just like the cooks in the kitchen. These common kitchen hazards include:
- Cuts to fingers, hands, or other body parts from dropped glass, knives, or meat slicers
- Falling on wet or uneven floors in areas of low lighting, wet areas such as around dishwashers, or areas where condensation can occur such as walk-in refrigerators
- Burns from hot dishes, cooking equipment and even commercial dishwashers
- Repetitive stress injuries to the back, neck, or shoulders from carrying in heavy boxes, awkward trays of food, or heavy pots for a prolonged period of time
Overall, these hazards are actually compounded by the demanding hours of the job. Chefs and other cooks work long and hard to provide food for the hungry masses, and over exhaustion can often be a key component in the increased risk of injury in commercial kitchens and even small restaurants. If you are tired, you are more prone to making a potentially costly mistake.
Worker’s Compensation for Restaurant Workers
Chefs and cooks are notorious for their ability to just “soldier on” after an injury without seeking proper treatment. They have a job to do that they are passionate about and want to get it done. However, without proper treatment, simple injuries can just become so much worse. However, they need not suffer the medical bills for it.
By filing for worker’s compensation for their injuries, restaurant workers are not only entitled to time it takes to heal and can have their wage loss covered for it, but worker’s compensation will take care of medical bills as well. In the event of lost of limb, which is commonly the tip of a finger in the kitchen environment, worker’s may be able to receive disability depending on how much of the limb they lost and how much it will affect the rest of their work career.
If you work in a kitchen at a restaurant, and were hurt at work, contact us today. Worker’s compensation should be a simple process, but it has a way of getting overly complicated very quickly. To make sure you get every penny of compensation you deserve for your injury, the Meshbesher Law Firm is ready to fight for you.