Understanding the potential risks at work helps you stay safe. If you work as a server, you might think your job is not hazardous. However, several common injuries afflict servers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2020, almost 94,000 restaurant workers across the U.S. received injuries on the job.
Awareness of these injuries can allow you to take precautions and protect your health.
Slips, trips and falls
In the desire to get your customers their food and drink as quickly as possible, you likely move swiftly around your workspace, often carrying heavy trays. A puddle of water or a piece of dropped food can make the floor slippery, leading to slips, trips or falls. These accidents can cause sprains, strains or broken bones. Wearing non-slip shoes and making sure walkways are clean can help prevent such accidents.
Burns and scalds
Working near hot grills, ovens or hot beverages puts you at risk for burns and scalds. Make sure you use proper protection like oven mitts and carefully handle hot pots and pans. Awareness of your surroundings can also prevent these painful injuries. For example, avoid reaching over a hot pan or pot of boiling water, as the steam and bubbling water can hurt you.
Lifting heavy trays or standing for long periods puts strain on your body. You may develop musculoskeletal injuries like back pain or repetitive strain injuries. Regular stretching and adopting correct lifting techniques can help you minimize these risks.
Cuts and lacerations
In a restaurant environment, you often handle sharp objects such as knives or broken glassware. Cuts and lacerations are common injuries that you should watch out for. Safe handling of such items, combined with careful cleanup of broken glass or crockery, can help you stay injury-free.
Stress and fatigue
Long shifts, demanding customers and multi-tasking can lead to mental stress and physical fatigue. Over time, this can result in burnout or other mental health concerns. Balancing work schedules, incorporating relaxation techniques and getting adequate rest are essential for your mental well-being.
Splashes from cleaning chemicals or food preparations can cause eye injuries. It is essential to use protective equipment, such as safety goggles, when handling chemicals or engaging in potentially risky tasks.
Your safety is your top priority. By understanding these common injuries, you can take active steps to reduce the risk and safeguard your health.