Kitchen Accidents a Common Cause of Workplace Injury
We Help Kitchen Workers Obtain the Compensation They Deserve
The restaurant industry is a significant part of our nation’s economy. There are more than one million restaurants in the U.S. – employing approximately 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Given the impressive size of the service industry, it is no surprise that accidents are common among kitchen workers. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have represented workers injured in all types of workplace accidents, including kitchen accidents caused by poor housekeeping, harsh chemicals, and unguarded machines.
Common Kitchen Accident Injuries
Restaurant and kitchen workers face many on-the-job hazards, which can cause injuries of varying severity. According to an industry report, the top three states for severe restaurant injuries are California, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Some of the most common injuries from kitchen accidents include:
Burns and cuts – Kitchen workers handle hot burners, pans, deep fryers, and grease on a daily basis. When the appropriate splash guards, potholders, and pour assist devices are not in place, or when hot steam rises from pots, the workers may sustain burn injuries of varying degrees.
Restaurant workers also handle knives and slicing equipment that can cause cuts if the equipment is not handled properly, is insufficiently sharpened, or the appropriate guards are not in place.
Chemical injuries – Kitchen workers may deal with commercial cleaners, disinfectants, and other hazardous chemicals that can cause serious respiratory, eye, and skin injuries. Repeated exposure to certain chemicals can cause fatal health conditions.
Musculoskeletal injuries – include muscle strains and tears, back, neck, shoulder or abdomen injuries, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Overexertion – The fast-paced nature of the restaurant industry may cause workers to overexert themselves, which can lead to kitchen accidents. Also, the heat from the kitchen, coupled with standing for long periods, may cause workers to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Slips and falls – This is the most common type of accident among food service workers. Water, ice, food, condensation, and slippery cleaners all pose slip hazards. Also, when it is raining outside, restaurant patrons may drip water from their clothes and umbrellas when entering the restaurant.
Struck by objects – One of the OSHA fatal four causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry is also a leading cause of kitchen accidents. Struck by accidents account for many restaurant industry workers’ compensation claims. Chefs, cooks, kitchen helpers, and bus persons are most likely to be struck by kitchen equipment or tools.
Preventing Kitchen Accidents
The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to provide workers with a safe and healthful workplace, free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
To improve the safety of restaurants and prevent kitchen accidents, employers can:
- Install adequate lighting
- Keep floors dry, clean and free of clutter
- Label and properly store chemicals
- Maintain machinery and equipment
- Promptly give notice of and clean up spills
- Provide slip-resistant mats
- Provide workers with good quality tools
- Require that employees wear non-slip footwear
- Train workers on heavy lifting and other best practices
- Use appropriate cleaning products
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Sustained in Workplace Kitchen Accidents
If you were injured in a workplace kitchen accident in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The workers’ compensation system is no-fault; therefore, you are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits include reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages, disability, specific loss and death benefits.
Injured workers should report their injury to a supervisor immediately and seek medical care as soon as possible. Failure to report the injury within a certain time could result in a denial of benefits. Those with questions about their workers’ compensation claim are strongly advised to seek the assistance of a reputable work injury lawyer.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Compensation for Injuries Sustained in Kitchen Accidents
Contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. if you were injured in a workplace kitchen accident. Complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today to arrange a free consultation.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.