Working in the food service industry, especially as a member of the wait staff, may be physically demanding. It can pose various challenges that may lead to injuries.
In Georgia, these injuries may make wait staff eligible for workers’ compensation claims.
1. Slip and falls
In Georgia, about 76,520 people work as wait staff, and they are vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. The fast-paced environment of a restaurant, combined with spills and wet surfaces, increases the risk of slipping. Injuries from these accidents can range from sprains and strains to more severe fractures.
2. Repetitive strain injuries
The nature of wait staff duties often involves repetitive motions, such as carrying heavy trays or repeatedly reaching for items. This can lead to RSIs affecting muscles and joints. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome may develop over time, impacting the ability to perform essential job functions.
3. Cuts and burns
Working in a restaurant kitchen exposes wait staff to sharp objects and hot surfaces. Cuts from knives or broken glass and burns from hot plates or liquids are common hazards. These injuries may require medical attention and, in severe cases, could lead to time away from work.
4. Overexertion and lifting injuries
Wait staff frequently engage in tasks that require lifting and carrying heavy items, such as trays loaded with dishes and beverages. Overexertion and lifting injuries can result in strains, sprains or more severe musculoskeletal issues, potentially necessitating workers’ compensation claims.
5. Assaults and altercations
Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is not immune to incidents of customer altercations or violence. Wait staff may be at risk of physical harm when dealing with unruly patrons.
Employers must prioritize workplace safety through training and preventive measures to minimize the occurrence of injuries and ensure a secure environment for their employees.