Workers Compensation In The Cooking Environment

If you work in a commercial kitchen, you are no stranger to the potential dangers. Because of the hectic and fast-paced nature of busy restaurant kitchens in tourist areas, many workers face issues of injuries at work. Most kitchen managers will take the time to extensively and thoroughly train employees rather than see accidents happen, but despite the best efforts, accidents can still occur. Knowing the most common types of accidents could help you prevent them from occurring, and knowing where to turn when one can help you recover from your injury quicker.

We all know not to put our hand on a hot stove, but don’t neglect the potential of other items that can cause injuries. Items recently removed from an oven or stovetop are sitting on the counter at a couple hundred degrees or more. When deep-frying, stir-frying, or otherwise heating up oil, be careful not to overfill the container or to splash oil out of the sides. Never put anything frozen into hot oil. Also, steam is as hot as boiling water, and steam burns can be dangerous to your throat, lungs, eyes, and other sensitive tissues. Never breathe in steam or place your skin in the steam’s path. Many people overlook the burning agents in peppers. The same chemicals that cause burning sensations on your tongue will burn your eyes or nose too. Aside from hot items, bleach and other cleaning agents can cause painful chemical burns. If you use a powerful cleanser like this on kitchen equipment, always use gloves when handling the chemicals.

Slipping in a kitchen can be one of the most embarrassing ways to injure yourself on the job, and cutting yourself accidentally is one of the most common kitchen injuries. Keep yourself safe by asking your employer to place raised rubber mats around sinks and other commonly wet floor areas if the kitchen doesn’t already have them.

Asking someone taller to get something that is out of your reach is not only applicable to children. If you must stand on an object to reach an item yourself, make sure it is a flat, level surface that will support your weight and will not shift if you stand on it. Always use a sharp knife and cut on a cutting board or level surface. If possible, use mesh gloves to protect your hands.

If you’re burnt, cut, or injured from a fall, immediately report it to your supervisor and seek any necessary medical attention. Make sure to issue a written report on the situation to your manager, and go directly to the doctor recommended by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Don’t hesitate or delay treatment for any reason, if you’re hurt, you need help now. Ask your employer for a copy of the 1st report of injury, and keep copies of the medical documentation for your records. The correct paperwork immediately after the accident could be relevant to your ability to obtain ongoing medical care if the injury lingers or causes lasting impairments. You can read more about what to do when you sustain injuries while working at

If you’ve been injured on the job in the course of your regular duties, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits or a liability claim depending on the situation. Worker’s compensation can help people who have suffered any of these injuries in a kitchen, including a slip-and-fall or chemical burn, and make sure they receive proper medical treatment and potentially even paid recovery time. To find out more about kitchen injuries and worker’s compensation, contact an attorney. They may be able to help you understand your rights and the claims process.