Kitchen and Restaurant Worker Hand InjuriesJanuary 16, 2019
Whether you are a trained chef or a cook at a local diner, one of the most important tools you have are your hands. From chopping and sautéing to kneading and mixing, you need the use of your hands, even if you are using other instruments like knives, spatulas, and mixers.
The kitchen is chock full of potential hazards that can cause serious cuts, burns, and other hand injuries if you are not careful. Many of these hand injuries can be avoided by making safety a top priority, and taking the appropriate safety precautions when working in a kitchen.
An experienced chef from Wilmington, Delaware found out just how easily a hand injury can occur. He went to reach for a plate that was falling out of a cabinet, but unfortunately, when he grabbed the plate it shattered in his hand, causing a deep cut near his thumb. He went to the emergency room to have the cut stitched up, but after 10 days, he could not feel his thumb, nor could he move it.
After seeing an orthopedic surgeon, he was told that his flexor pollicis longus tendon had been cut, which was causing the numbness and immobility. He had surgery to repair the damage and hopes to be back at work within a few months.
Hand Injuries Are All Too Common
This is just one example of hand injuries that occur in restaurants and home kitchens across the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that there were over 2,000 hand injuries among food workers in 2017. If chefs and other kitchen staff do not take the right precautions when handling sharp knives, hot pots and pans, or kitchen appliances, they can suffer painful, often serious injuries to their fingers and hands.
According to a surgeon at the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center, these injuries should be fixed as soon as possible, particularly if there is numbness, or if the person is unable to move or bend a finger.
How to Prevent Hand Injuries in the Kitchen
The following are some tips for prevention of injuries in the kitchen:
- Keep all kitchen knives sharpened. Dull knives are more likely to slip when slicing, which can lead to serious cuts.
- When washing dishes, use caution when rinsing sharp utensils or fragile glassware that can break easily.
- Wear protective gloves whenever possible.
- Avoid distractions when using sharp objects. Do not drink alcohol, watch television, talk on the phone, or perform any other activity that will take your attention away from what you are doing in the kitchen.
- When using equipment that has sharp blades, including blenders, food processors, and garbage disposals, make sure that the machine is not running and that the blade has stopped spinning before reaching for something inside.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Hand Injuries
If you have suffered a hand injury while working in a kitchen, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other compensable costs associated with your injury. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.