Reducing Food Industry Workplace Injuries

No one can deny the fact that there are a number of ways one can experience accidents and incur injuries while in the kitchen. The risk is, of course, even higher for those who work in commercial kitchens full time. The food industry workplace is riddled with the potential for injury. 

As workers maneuver in the kitchen, they are exposed to repetitive tasks that usually involve using tools that make them vulnerable to potential harm. Not to mention that because of the fast-paced, high-pressure, high-heat environment, the daily work routine could be surprisingly physically demanding.

For this reason, it is essential for employees to abide by training procedures to prevent incidents like these from happening. In a similar fashion, employers must guarantee that these training protocols are properly implemented less they are held legally liable. 

Food Workers are At High Risk

Injuries that employees incur while in the food industry workplace can prove detrimental to a restaurant. According to David Eha, Director of National Accounts at Restaurant Technologies Inc., in order to make up for the average cost of the workers’ claim, a restaurant must serve 3,000 fast meals or 1,300 casual dining meals. Furthermore, the National Council on Compensation Insurance stated that $45,600 is spent annually on an average of four employee claims within a year. 

Emory University has also conducted a study that attests that those who work in the food industry are 60 percent likely to suffer from sickness or physical harm. In addition, food workers are also 9.5 times at risk for occupational death. 

Avoiding Restaurant Injuries 

The less prone the workplace is to accidents and injuries, the easier it would be to retain employees, which results in a lower employee turnover rate and eventually guarantee a lesser cost spent on claims. To help you achieve this, let us share with you a few of the common injuries that occur in a restaurant so that you may avoid and prepare for them:

Punctures, Cuts and Lacerations

Given the number of tasks which involve cutlery like blades or sharp knives, punctures, cuts and lacerations are a common sight in the kitchen. In fact, 22 percent of house claims are due to this. 

Food preparation requires mincing, dicing which demands the maintenance and use of sharp cutlery while using blenders and grinders are also common. To prevent accidents due to this and limit exposure to these tools, employees must wear gloves. Reinforcement of a strict training protocol is also a must. 


Almost 13 percent of house claims are due to burns and scalds. As pots overflow, oils spill and splash, in a constant high-heat environment, most employees suffer from burns and scalds. To reduce the occurrence of such accidents, staff must be trained to turn pot handles away from the body, steer clear of boiling pots such as steamers and pressure cookers, and to immediately turn off stoves that are not in use. 

Strains and Sprains

Kitchen staff could often be seen reaching, bending or lifting while in the kitchen. According to Kitchen 101, 15 percent of house claims could be attributed to slipping, straining, and sprains of soft tissue. Being conscious of how accessible the heavier items are stored could lessen the strain caused by lifting and moving them. 

Slips and Falls

A wet floor caused by oil or water contributes to 20 percent of house claims on slips and falls. A $5,800 claim wouldn’t have been pursued if employees used non-slip footwear and conducted regular floor clean ups to prevent this from occurring in the first place. 

Eye Injuries

Permanent loss of vision can happen as a result of unexpected grease or chemical splashes. Donning proper gear and ensuring all employees are regularly trained can help avoid this. 

Due to the various equipment and processes involved in producing and serving food, workers may be prone to burns, wounds, and the like. It is vital for employers to take preventative measures in order to ensure the safety of their workers. Amongst these measures would be to employ risk-management systems, safeguarding liabilities, and engage in proper consultation. Furthermore, these can be achieved by securing a reliable insurance service.

With a renowned workers’ compensation insurance program, the costs of injury claims and perils of one’s kitchen can be managed moving forward.

About Arroyo Insurance Services

Arroyo Insurance Services was officially established in 1986, but we have roots dating back to before 1950. One of California’s leading client-oriented and independently owned agencies, we have over 140 employees with a combined experience of over 450 years, spread across 11 locations. We are committed to providing the best insurance and risk management services at the most competitive premiums, and backing it with hands-on service tailored to our customers’ needs. For more information on how we can mitigate your risks, contact us today at (877) 220-4769.