waiter serving food

Injuries Common to Food Service Workers

When you think of injuries on the job, you probably imagine high-risk occupations like firefighting, policing, working construction, etc.

It’s important to remember that every job comes with some degree of risk to your health. Even an office job where you sit all day can take a toll on your back, muscles, and weight.

Food service is not often regarded as a high-risk job, but this is a fallacy. Waiters and cooks are regularly close to hot surfaces and even flames. Servers must bustle around the restaurant, making them prone to slipping on slick surfaces or bumping into something.

Here are some injuries that food service workers could suffer.

Muscle Injuries

Being on their feet and rushing from table to table for hours, servers are susceptible to sprains and strains.

Muscle Sprains

Ligaments are muscles that connect bones together. They can stretch, allowing the muscles to move and stay attached. However, their plasticity is limited. If bones stretch too far apart, the ligaments can tear or break completely. This is called a sprain.

Muscle Strains

Tendons are muscles that connect bones to surrounding muscles. Unlike ligaments, tendons are not elastic. Stretched too far, they break more easily. When a tendon snaps or tears, this is called a strain.

Impact Injuries

There is a lot of activity happening in the average restaurant. People in the kitchen are moving back and forth, grabbing tools and ingredients. Servers are racing around the main floor, distributing drinks and food, taking away empty plates, putting in orders, taking payments, and more.

Under these conditions, someone will eventually bump into something. In some cases, they can outright slam into corners, tables, chairs, or each other.

A slip and fall normally results in impact injuries, and these accidents are common with drinks, condiments, and other liquids regularly moving around a restaurant.

Impacts can leave bruises. Sometimes these bruises run deep under the skin, affecting mobility. If someone hits something hard enough, they can even tear flesh or break bones.

Burn Injuries

Both servers and cooks are routinely exposed to hot surfaces. The very plate used to deliver food can be hot to the touch.

Burn injuries are common in the food service industry. They can range from small injuries that raised blisters to serious burns if someone is exposed to fire. Third-degree burns reach down into the fatty tissue and often require immediate medical treatment. Fourth-degree burns touch bone, and they can be life-threatening.

Skin Injuries

Food service workers often handle sharp services. Whether it is a cook using a knife or a server handling cutlery, blades and points abound. Cuts are inevitable in this environment.

As with most injuries, cuts can range from minor to severe, and there are several types of cuts you could endure. An incision is a straight, thin cut. It takes longer to heal, and it can be quite painful. Abrasions scrape the top layer of skin, such as in a rug burn. A laceration is a jagged cut, and it may require stitches. Puncture wounds can be insidiously dangerous. They look like a small hole, but they can leave infection in the layers below your skin’s surface.

If you’ve been hurt on the job, trust our team to help. We can assist with workers’ compensation, and, if necessary, we may be able to take negligent employers to court. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us now at (916) 571-1550.