Published on:

Workers at Risk of Burns, Cuts and Falls in Atlanta Restaurant Industry

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a newly formed Alliance with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United). Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Atlanta know that Alliances with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are meant to improve work environments and reduce the risk of injury in industries that oftentimes are hazardous unless safety precautions are put into place and employees are trained properly.
965870_kitchen_utensils.jpg
There are roughly 11.6 million people employed in the restaurant industry nationwide. Almost 30 percent of these full and part-time employees are under 20 years of age. For many, it is the first employment opportunity outside of chores at home and a crucial step in transitioning to adulthood. Young workers are prone to burns, lacerations, or falls at work in Georgia restaurants if they are not properly trained and the employer fails to take the initiative to continually keep the work environment hazard-free.

ROC-United, founded in 2008, has over 7,500 members and is a national organization focused on improving work conditions in the restaurant industry. The Alliance with OSHA will be geared towards presenting case studies so that employers and workers in the industry can learn lessons from previous dangerous situations. Fact sheets, health and safety booklets and suggestions for proper training will be provided to workers and employers to create awareness about burns, falls, cuts and other potential injuries.

It isn’t abnormal for parents to fear when their child goes out into the workforce, especially at a young age. Up to this point the power to keep children safe has been in the hands of the parents but now you are relying on someone else. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for your child but the more knowledge your child can gain the better it will be for their own safety.

OSHA has developed an online tool to help parents and teens gain more knowledge about the dangers leading to severe injury or illness while working in the restaurant industry. Young workers are exposed regularly to electrocution, violence, strains or sprains, toxic chemicals among other hazards. A teen may take a job serving, working the drive-thru window, preparing food or in clean-up but what they need to be aware of is there are dangers in every facet of the job.

The following are potential dangers associated with specific job responsibilities in the restaurant industry:

Serving
-Strains or sprains from carrying heavy dishes or trays stacked full of food orders.
-Trips or falls from not seeing an object in your path or slipping on ice dispersed from a bin.
-Burns from touching hot plates or spilling hot drinks.
-Workplace violence exhibited by customers or employers making vocal complaints or belligerent comments.

Drive-thru window
-Hearing loss initiated by loud background noise from headsets.
-Inhalation of dangerous fumes from a car’s exhaust system.
-Back and foot pain from standing on feet for prolong periods of time.

Cooking
-Eye or face injuries caused by oil splashes from scalding fryers.
-Fire hazards from working around open flames or grease traps that aren’t emptied.
-Heat exhaustion or heat illness from working in extreme hot temperatures for long periods of time.

Clean-up
-Slip and fall injuries from walking in freshly mopped wet areas or grease spills left on the floor.
-Electrocution from open wires or worn electrical cords.
-Exposure to hazardous chemicals often found in cleaning products like ammonia, detergents, or soaps.

Young workers are at risk of so many potentially dangerous injuries so help keep them safe by teaching them to be responsible and ensuring their employer trains them properly.

If you or a teenager in your family has suffered a work injury or needs to file a disability claim in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C. to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.

More Blog Entries:
Reportable Illnesses and Injuries at Work a Concern for Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Atlanta, Statewide, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, November 4, 2011.

Workplace Violence in Georgia and Elsewhere One of the Top Causes for Work-Related Fatalities, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, September 5, 2011.