Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Employees who work in kitchens or restaurants face a whole host of hazards, whether they are chefs creating culinary masterpieces over a hot stove, servers carrying heavy trays of food in and out of the kitchen, or dishwashers who clean sharp utensil in very hot water. Kitchen hazards can be obvious, although some may not be clearly visible. Regardless, the resulting injuries can range from relatively minor to very serious, if not fatal.
Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working environments for all employees. The more aware employers are of some of these potential hazards, the more likely they will take steps to prevent them. Following are some of the most common hazards in a kitchen or restaurant environment:
- Slips and Falls: Employers should keep floors clear of clutter, and treat surfaces with slip-resistant treatments. Clean any spills immediately and post “caution” signs until they have dried completely. Place rubber flooring in front of ice machines, unless it creates a tripping hazard. Encourage staff to alert others when moving through a crowded restaurant to help prevent collisions and falls.
- Equipment and Attire: In order to prevent certain workplace accidents, require kitchen staff to have the following:
- Long sleeves to prevent burns
- Closed-toe, skid-resistant shoes to prevent falls
- Heavy pans for better stability and fewer spills
- Moving Heavy Loads: Food service employees tend to move loads of up to 50 pounds on a regular basis. Training employees on the proper way to lift heavier loads can help prevent back injuries. These heavier items should be stored at waist height.
- Burn Prevention: Burns are a common kitchen injury, but can be avoided if the following protective measures are followed:
- Have potholders easily accessible
- Provide enough room for proper handling of pots on the stove
- Install temperature and pressure relief valves to avoid explosions when using pressurized water heating systems
- Reduce the temperature on your hot water heaters
- Provide training on how to the automated lid on a braising pan or steam-jacketed kettle
- Deep fryer should only be used by trained employees, using proper protective equipment
- Fire Prevention: The following rules will help prevent kitchen fires:
- Do not leave dish rags or aprons near a hot surface or flame
- Never leave stove or other kitchen equipment unattended
- Do not overload electrical outlets
- Avoid using equipment with frayed cords or bent prongs
- Conduct regular drills, making sure employees know the building evacuation plan, the location of the fire extinguisher and how to properly use it
Common Types of Kitchen Injuries
Following are some of the more common types of injuries that occur in restaurants and kitchens:
- Sprains and strains to the neck, shoulders and back
- Slips and falls that can result in broken bones, concussions or brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations from using sharp kitchen equipment like knives, mixers or grinders
- Burns from hot appliances, cooking equipment, hot oil, steam or other hot liquids
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Illnesses that can result from toxic fumes
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Kitchen Employees Injured On the Job
If you have been injured as a result of a hazardous condition while working in a kitchen or restaurant, let our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton ease the burden and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will fight hard to make sure your rights are protected at all times. For a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.