The restaurant industry is huge in the United States, with more than 14.7 million people employed as of 2017. As one of the largest industries in the U.S., restaurants bring in more than $800 billion in sales each year.
With such a tremendous presence, the ever-increasing restaurant industry is only growing, which means that more employees will be required over time. While that is good news for the job market, it must be noted that restaurant workers are among the most prone to suffer workplace injuries.
Restaurant Worker Injuries
It is estimated that around 190,000 restaurant workers suffer injuries each year while on-the-clock. The reason why injuries are so common is that restaurants present a variety of risks – in the kitchen, and out in the front of the house. These risks include:
- Sharp Objects – Sharp objects are the most common injury reported among restaurant workers. Cuts, punctures, and lacerations account for 22 percent of back-of-house injuries.
- Slippery Surfaces – Grease and water make restaurant surfaces slippery – both front- and back-of-house. Each year, over 25,000 slip and fall accidents happen. They account for 20 percent of back-of-house accidents.
- Heavy Objects – Bending and lifting heavy objects commonly causes sprains and strains. In fact, soft tissue injuries account for 15 percent of accidents in restaurants.
- Heat, Flame, Grease – Burn and scald injuries are very common in restaurants. Exposure to heat, smoke, flames, and grease cause 13 percent of injuries to restaurant workers each year.
Proper training and safety procedures are important to prevent injuries.