Whether you're employed at a fast-food restaurant or a sit-down dining establishment, working in the restaurant industry can be tough. Not only do you endure demanding customers and long hours on your feet, but you also face a number of workplace hazards that put you at risk for serious injury.
In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers in full-services restaurants alone report nearly 94,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses each year. Additionally, an Emory University study that examined BLS data found that food industry workers have a 60 percent higher rate of occupational injury or illness than those in other industries.
As a restaurant worker, if you are hurt on the job, you can find yourself in a particularly precarious situation: unable to work for days, weeks, or even longer as you recover from your employment-related injury or medical condition. Fortunately, there's help. New York State Workers' Compensation may be available to you. Here's what you need to know about restaurant worker injuries and how our skilled workers' comp attorneys can help you obtain much-needed benefits.
Common Restaurant Worker Injuries
Working around sharp knives, hot stoves and ovens, breakable tableware, and other hazards creates the potential for wide-ranging injuries. Some of the most commonly reported work-related injuries and conditions include:
- Punctures, lacerations, and scrapes. Chopping, slicing, and dicing in a demanding and fast-paced environment can lead to accidental injuries to fingers, hands, and other parts of the body. Injuries can range from simple scrapes and cuts to deep lacerations or lost digits.
- Slips, trips, and falls. Slippery floors, bunched carpets, objects in walkways, and other hazards can cause workers to slip (or trip) and fall, potentially resulting in strains, sprains, broken bones, and head injuries.
- Burns. Whether they're from splashing grease or coming into contact with hot surfaces or pans, restaurant worker burns can be severe and extremely painful. In some cases, burns may require extensive treatment and recovery time.
- Head injuries and concussions. Slips and falls, falling objects, and other hazards can cause restaurant workers to sustain head injuries, such as concussions, on the job. Severe head injuries may cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have long-term effects on movement, balance, cognition, behavior, and more.
- Back injuries. Restaurant workers do a lot of lifting and carrying, which can lead to painful back strains and sprains.
- Repetitive stress injuries. Doing the same motions over and over can injure your body over time. Restaurant workers often report repetitive stress injuries to the wrists, hands, and knees.
- Occupational diseases. Studies show that restaurant workers are at risk for a number of work-related diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, and blood and gastrointestinal diseases.
Interacting with numerous people on a daily basis means that New York restaurant workers have an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus on the job. If you're a restaurant worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or a surviving family member of a restaurant worker who died of COVID-19, workers' compensation benefits may be available.
Workers' Comp Benefits for Injured Restaurant Workers
New York workers' compensation provides three main types of benefits: medical treatment, partial wage replacement payments, and death benefits for surviving family members. Talk to a workers' comp attorney to determine your eligibility.
The knowledgeable and highly-skilled team of New York workers' compensation attorneys with O'Connor Law have helped countless clients obtain the benefits they need and deserve. We may be able to do the same for you.
If you're a restaurant worker who was hurt on the job, we invite you to take advantage of a free initial consultation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case, your legal options, and how we can help. We look forward to assisting you.