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Restaurant Accident Injury? Fight for a Fair Settlement!

The amount of a restaurant injury settlement can vary widely depending on the specifics of the case. Factors that can influence the settlement amount include the nature and severity of the injury, the extent of the restaurant’s liability, the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Causes of Restaurant Accidents

Restaurant accidents can result from various factors in the culinary industry.

These accidents often involve:

  • Burns from hot food or plates: Burns can occur from cooking oils or handling plates with steam. For instance, a child was scalded with hot water at a Queens Applebee’s when they drank from a glass placed on their table by a server.
  • Food poisoning: The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) gets sick from foodborne diseases each year, with common sources being raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, and unpasteurized milk.
  • Foreign objects in food: Objects can inadvertently get into restaurant foods, whether from ingredients purchased from suppliers, lapses in cleaning procedures, or objects near food prep areas.
  • Slips and falls: In NYC alone, there were 24 occupational fatalities due to slips, trips, and falls in 2019. Factors such as uneven walkways, wet floors, poor lighting, lack of signage, or missing handrails can increase fall risks. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), approximately 20,000 people die each year from falls, with the odds of dying from an accidental fall being 1 in 158.

Types of Restaurant Injuries

Both employees and patrons are vulnerable to various types of restaurant injuries, including:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries: Insufficient slip-proof rugs, unaddressed spills, or uncleared snow and ice can lead to serious injuries for both customers and employees.
  • Food poisoning: Improperly cleaned surfaces, dishes, and bathrooms, as well as spoiled ingredients, can cause severe illness in customers.
  • Burns: Serving dishes at dangerously high temperatures can cause serious burns to customers. Kitchen staff are also at risk, especially if equipment is broken or defective.
  • Injuries from falling objects: Restaurants using overhead storage accessible to customers or in back-of-house areas must ensure it is safe and easily accessible.
  • Punctures and lacerations: Broken dishes, knives, and other sharp objects can cause injuries if left around or handled carelessly.

These are just a few of the myriad types of injuries that can result from restaurant accidents. They represent the potential effects of accidents, but they are not the root cause.

Restaurant Workplace Safety Tips

Promoting workplace safety in restaurants is crucial for protecting employees and reducing costly claims. Implementing safety measures can help keep staff healthy, and productive, and keep workers’ compensation premiums down. Here are some tips to reduce common injuries:

Preventing Cuts, Punctures, and Lacerations:

  • Wear protective gear, such as steel mesh or Kevlar gloves, and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.
  • Use stable cutting boards and cut away from the body.
  • Properly store knives and dispose of broken glass in designated buckets.

How to Prevent Burns:

  • Use protective oven mitts or gloves when handling hot items.
  • Wear splatter shields or gauntlets to protect from hot grease.
  • Allow hot items to cool before lifting.

Tips to Avoid Strain Injuries:

  • Train employees on proper lifting techniques for objects over 50 pounds.
  • Allow for breaks from repetitive movements and ensure workstations are at the appropriate height.

Sprain Injury Prevention:

  • Enforce a policy requiring slip-resistant shoes.
  • Clean up spills immediately or use wet floor signs.
  • Use slip-resistant mats in wet areas with beveled edges.

Implementing these safety measures can help reduce the risk of common injuries in restaurant settings and create a safer work environment for employees.

Restaurant Injury Statistics

  • In 2019, private industry workers in full-service restaurants experienced 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses. Approximately one-third of these cases necessitated at least one day away from work.
  • The incidence rate for cases involving days away from work in full-service restaurants was 88.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to 73.1 in 2018.
  • For all private industry workers, the rate was 86.9 in 2019 and 89.7 in 2018.
  • Specifically, there were 8,110 cases of cuts and lacerations in full-service restaurants in 2019 that led to days away from work, occurring at a rate of 23.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. This rate was higher than the overall private industry rate of 7.1.
  • Sprains, strains, and tears in full-service restaurants resulting in days away from work had a rate of 16.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to 28.9 for all private industry workers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [1].

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