In the mid-1990s, chefs became the new rock-and-roll stars. People aspired to join the ranks of these hard-working, hard-drinking, kitchen gods. Yet as Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” revealed, the reality is far from glamorous.
Restaurants kitchens are one of the harshest environments to work in. The combination of high pressure, searing heat, boiling pans and exhausted workers crammed into tiny spaces means that accidents occur frequently.
These are the four most common types of injury:
- Cuts or lacerations: Knives are not the only sharp things in kitchens. While you can solve small cuts with a band-aid, larger ones may require hospitalization.
- Slips and falls: Restaurant kitchens often have liquids or oil spilled on the floor. If not promptly mopped and signed, you could slip and fall. Wear shoes with a nonslip sole to reduce the risk.
- Sprains and strains: In an ideal world, you would lift heavy things between two people. You would assume the correct lifting posture to avoid injury. However, in a kitchen, you may be required to lift heavy pots or buckets alone or lift things in a less than ideal position.
- Heat injuries: You could burn yourself, reaching across a stove or burn yourself on a hot plate or pan. If you slip when carrying a pot of stock, you could scald yourself. If someone else drops a pan, its contents could fall over you.
If you work in a Virginia restaurant or cafe, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover you in an accident. As long as the business employs at least two staff, it must have this cover. There are specific protocols if you wish to claim. Seek legal to avoid errors that could harm your claim.