Many people in Peoria have worked in the food service industry at one point in their lives. Whether they were flipping burgers at a fast food joint as a teenager or whether they currently have a career as a chef or server in a restaurant, it is important to recognize that restaurants can be dangerous places to work. If employers in the food service industry do not take appropriate measures to keep their workers safe, it could lead to workplace injuries.
For example, workers in restaurants may have to lift heavy objects, which could lead to strains, sprains and nerve damage. They may also have to be on their feet on a hard surface for their entire shift, which could lead to back injuries and muscle fatigue. Chefs work with sharp knives and around hot surfaces, which could lead to lacerations and burn injuries. Having to complete repetitive tasks day-in and day-out, such as chopping, can lead to repetitive stress injuries. Exposure to hazardous cleaning chemicals could also lead to eye, skin and respiratory problems.
This is only a brief overview of the many injuries food service employees may suffer in the workplace. In the end, it is up to employers to make sure their premises are free from recognized hazards that could injure or kill a worker. Restaurant employees facing a workplace hazard that has, or could, lead to injuries may be able to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If injured, they may also be able to pursue workers' compensation for injuries.
The availability of workers' compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, workers pursuing these benefits often seek legal help with the application process, so they can put forth the strongest case possible. And, should their initial application for benefits be denied, having legal representation during the appeals process can be beneficial. Therefore, restaurant workers injured on the job may want to seek the guidance they need to determine what steps to take next.