Waiting tables, taking orders and cooking meals seems simple to many. But food service is a physically demanding and exhausting profession. And like others in similar occupations, food service workers can face a variety of hazards.
Even as restaurants endure substantial changes due to the pandemic, the pressure, stress and risk the industry puts on employees still exist. Whether they work in the kitchen or out on the front lines, many factors can make for an unsafe environment.
Examples of food service injuries
While every restaurant is different, this is how many food service workers get hurt:
- Severe cuts from using sharp cooking utensils.
- Burns from hot water or surfaces.
- Slipping and falling on wet surfaces.
- Tripping and falling on wires, utensils or other people’s feet.
- Bumping into coworkers who are walking in and out of the kitchen.
- Back pain from lifting and moving heavy objects.
- Long-term limb damage due to repetitive motion.
- Eye damage due to chemical exposure.
- Extreme heat exhaustion due to hot kitchen temperatures.
Are restaurant workers entitled to compensation?
No matter who is at fault, workers can receive injury benefits if they get hurt on the job in an accident or specific traumatic event. North Carolina employers have a legal obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Many restaurant workers don’t have PTO or health care benefits. Because of this, workers’ comp insurance is the only option they have to cover lost wages and medical expenses after an on-the-job injury. North Carolina’s wage replacement benefits cover 66% of a worker’s average weekly wages and will also pay for all necessary medical treatment.
An attorney at the Bollinger Law Firm can help restaurant workers understand their rights and how they can get the most out of their benefits.