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Workers' compensation claims in restaurants

Restaurant workers in New York are at risk of a variety of accidents and injuries. Whether working in the back as a dishwasher or cook or working in the front as a busser or server, there are many hazards that can lead to workers' compensation claims if not handled correctly. 

According to OSHA, there are plenty of hazards for employees who work back of the house. Burns are quite common due to hot stoves, ovens and boiling grease. Cuts, whether from knives, slicing machines or broken dishes, are also common. Liquids and dropped food also increase the chances of slips and falls. Ergonomic hazards also exist. Many of the workers stand in one position for long periods of time on hard floors, which can lead to leg pain and back strains. Performing the same motion, such as cutting, peeling or washing, can also cause overuse injuries.

The Chron discusses how employees who work in the front of the house also are at risk of multiple injuries. Slips and falls are common, especially on hardwood floors. There is also the chance of running into chairs, tripping over customers' feet or crashing into other workers. Burns can occur from pouring hot beverages and handling hot, sizzling plates. There is also an increase of muscle injuries thanks to carrying heavy trays or stacked dishes. 

All restaurant workers are at risk of mental and physical stress. The demand to cook for, and serve, a large dining room in a small amount of time takes its toll day after day. Add in grumpy guests and demanding managers/chefs, and stress levels increase. Overtime this can lead to poor health, depression and other mental issues.


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  • Walter J. Roesch IV
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