Hand Injuries in the Kitchen
January 4, 2019
Working in a commercial kitchen can put restaurant workers at risk for suffering a variety of workplace injuries. All types of restaurant kitchens from small cafes and fast food places to fine dining establishments and catering halls have safety hazards that could result in serious hand injuries should a kitchen accident occur. With most restaurant workers being under extreme pressure to serve their customers quickly, it is not surprising that kitchen accidents occur frequently. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurant workers experienced over 2,000 hand injuries in 2017 – making hand injuries the most common problem facing food workers.
Causes of Hand Injuries in the Kitchen
Some of the most common types of kitchen accidents that cause injuries to restaurant workers include those caused by:
- Reaching for items that fall out of cabinets
- Shattering glassware
- Shattering ceramic serving pieces
- Knives that slip or move while in use (particularly dull knives)
- Hot pots and pans
- Garbage disposals
- Wet kitchen floors
All restaurant workers are encouraged to wear protective gloves to prevent a serious hand injury from occurring while working in a kitchen.
Types of Hand Injuries Suffered in Kitchen Accidents
When a restaurant worker’s hand is harmed during a kitchen accident, the injury can be significant. In addition to suffering cuts and lacerations that may require stitches to their hand, some workers experience sprains, burns, numbness, paralysis, severed tendons, stiffness, scarring, and nerve damage. One of the most common hand injuries that restaurant workers experience is the loss of protective sensation which is when a numb thumb or finger prevents a person from feeling a burn or injury that has occurred.
Hand injuries often require immediate medical attention including visits to emergency rooms. Physicians specializing in hand injuries recommend treatment sooner rather than later to prevent the injury from becoming permanent in nature. Restaurant workers who suffer hand injuries resulting in an inability to bend a finger or who experience continued numbness are encouraged to consult with a hand surgeon to determine the full extent of their injuries.
Compensation for Hand Injuries in the Kitchen
Restaurant workers suffering from hand injuries may incur significant medical expenses related to the costs of medical treatment. Medical expenses could include the costs of physician fees, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, occupational or physical therapy, and x-rays. Serious hand injuries often require surgery which may necessitate the need for hospital stays and months of rehabilitation or physical and occupational therapy.
Use of the hand is especially important for those restaurant workers who work as chefs, prep cooks, dishwashers, and servers. Many restaurant workers must be able to cut or stir with their hand to adequately perform their job duties. When a hand injury prevents a worker from performing their job duties, they also may lose wages. Workers’ compensation benefits for the costs of medical treatment and lost wages may be available to restaurant workers who injure their hands during a kitchen accident.
Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Assist Restaurant Workers Injured in Kitchen Accidents
If you are a restaurant worker who has been injured in a kitchen accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, the experienced Reading workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. proudly represent injured restaurant workers throughout Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Reading work injury lawyer today, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or contact us online.
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.