Food and Beverage Worker Injuries
Food and beverage workers play an important role in both the local and national economy. From fast food places to fine dining establishments, as well as neighborhood bars, nightclubs, and taverns, the people who work in this field often put in long hours, with low hourly wages that are supplemented by customer tips. These employees perform a variety of tasks under challenging conditions, and on-the-job accidents and injuries are common. As the tourism season gets underway in the Palmetto State, increasing numbers of jobs will open up in this field. Whether you are a seasonal, part-time worker or a year-round service industry professional, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers you could face on the job, as well as the types of injuries that most commonly occur.
South Carolina Food and Beverage Industry
The National Restaurant Association estimates that over 13 million people are employed in the food and beverage industry throughout the United States. These employees represent more than ten percent of the total workforce and generate over $660 billion in sales – roughly four percent of the total U.S. gross domestic profit. In South Carolina alone, there are close to 8,000 different eating and drinking establishments that employ nearly 200,000 residents. Types of positions within this industry include the following:
- Front-of-house employees, such as hostesses, cashiers, wait staff, food runners, bussers, and bartenders.
- Back-of-house employees, including food prep workers, bakers, line cooks, chefs, and dishwashers.
- Management and administrative workers, including supervisors, advertising and promotional representatives, and accountants.
Any of these positions can expose employees to potentially dangerous work conditions, such as walking on wet floors, handling broken glass and sharp objects, and working in high temperatures or near hot surfaces.
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Common Injuries In the Food and Beverage Industry
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the food service industry has four major groups: full service restaurants, limited eating establishments, special food services, and drinking places. Roughly 80 percent of these establishments are classified as small businesses, and many employ younger, less experienced workers who may be more likely to suffer on-the-job injuries or to engage in actions that allow a dangerous condition to exist. The CDC reports common types of injuries in the food and beverage industry include the following:
- Muscle strains, sprains, and bruising from slip and fall injuries;
- Severe cuts and lacerations from knives, cutting blades, and sharp surfaces;
- Thermal burns from hot oil, steam, and equipment surfaces;
- Chemical burns and skin irritation due to cleaning agents and chemical solvents;
- Ergonomic injuries as the result of repetitive motions, such as chopping and lifting; and
- Stress-related injuries due to working long shifts with few break periods in a high stress environment.
Any of the above types of injuries can result in serious and potentially disabling conditions that could limit your ability to work or perform the functions associated with your job. If you are injured on the job, always notify your supervisor or manager, and seek medical care immediately.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured on the job,contact Anastopoulo Law Firm immediately. Our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys understand the lasting impact these types of injuries can have on your ability to make a living and can advise you on the best course of action so that you can get the compensation and benefits you deserve.