Foodservice work involves a number of potential hazards. Whether you’re a server, a busser, the dishwasher or a cook, your job has numerous hazards that can lead to serious injuries. From handling knives and dealing with open flame to the risk of inebriated customers getting violent, there are countless potential job risks for those working in foodservice.
One of the most significant risks that a worker will face is the potential for a fall on the job. Anything from a customer’s spilled drink to a pile of uncooked rice on the kitchen floor could leave you hurt on the floor without any warning during the shift. There are certain things that you and your employer can do to reduce your risk of a fall and injuries that keep you out of work.
The right shoes can make a big difference
Many foodservice companies, ranging from fine-dining establishments to fast-food restaurants, require that their employees show up to work in anti-slip shoes. Some companies go so far as to mandate the purchase of a specific brand of shoes as part of their employees’ work uniforms.
Whether you have to wear a specific kind of shoes or just need to have a pair of shoes with good tread and steel toes, the right footwear can drastically reduce your risk of an injury on the job. Strong ankle support is also important, as a potential slip could also lead to soft tissue injuries if your body moves rapidly to adjust to the change in your center of gravity. With shoes that have a good grip on them, you will be at less risk of getting hurt on the job.
How your employer can protect you from a fall while on the job
Your employer should have certain practices already in place regarding how clean they keep the facilities and how to address spills when they occur. Unfortunately, even with good policies, during busy times or with certain people working a shift, the potential exists for a spill to go unaddressed.
Management should inspect the premises frequently throughout a shift and make sure that staff prioritizes cleaning, especially in situations that increase the fall risk for workers or customers. If there is an upside to the risk that comes from working in a kitchen, it is the fact that you will likely have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you get hurt in a slip-and-fall accident and need medical attention or have to take some time off of work to recover.