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The dangers of working in the restaurant business

People who work in restaurants in Michigan are faced with many different safety hazards. Between the kitchen and dining room, there are many ways an employee can get hurt and this leads to higher workers' compensation claims. Employers need to recognize these issues and do everything in their power to reduce the risk to workers.

According to OSHA, many times injuries occur due to ergonomic hazards. These can happen over the long term from overuse or they may be acute injuries. Some examples of dangers include:

  • Repetitive tasks that lead to fatigue or overuse injuries
  • Cutting with a dull knife which results in injuries and soreness of the upper extremities
  • Lifting heavy objects without assistance
  • Long-term standing on hard flooring which leads to back and leg pain

Employees who work in the back of the house are at risk from a number of hazards such as cuts, burns, lack of ventilation, hot temperatures and chemical exposures. The Chron recommends employers train workers on how to use each piece of equipment properly to avoid issues. 

All restaurant employees are at risk for slips, trips and falls. Spills in the kitchen can cause employees to slip and fall onto hot, heavy and sharp equipment. In the dining room, servers and bussers move quickly and carry multiple items so spills can also be very disastrous. Tripping hazards can be seen in the form of cords that stretch across walkways, misplaced chairs and tray stands and customers that put their legs out in the aisle or stand up unexpectedly.

Employers should conduct regular safety meetings to address potential risks and prevent accidents from happening.


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