You probably don’t give two thoughts to the people behind the scenes cooking your food when you go out for a nice dinner, but they are exposing themselves to plenty of potential dangers as they prepare your meal. The restaurant injury can be a high-pressure industry, which can make it a hotbed for accidental injuries. Today, we take a closer look at five common injuries that affect chefs and cooks in Minnesota, and we explain how they can earn compensation for their injuries.
Common Chef Injuries
We’ve seen a wide variety of injuries among food preppers, and although this isn’t the full list, their injuries tend to fall into one of these five categories.
1. Burns – Burns are very common among cooks who are always taking things in and out of the oven. Burns are especially common in places that have industrial stoves that are large and extremely hot. Your favorite pizza place probably has one or more of these big ovens, and bumping up against it or accidentally having the door closed on your arm can cause serious burns. Even if you were at fault for your burn, you can still seek compensation.
2. Slip and Falls – Another common injury in the kitchen is the slip and fall. Kitchens are often lined with tile floors, which can become extremely slippery if water or olive oil is spilled on the ground. Since cooks are usually so focused on their dish, they might not see the dangers on the floor, and that can lead to bruises and fractures.
3. Cuts – Even the best chefs in the world have cut themselves, and cuts are very common in the restaurant business. Whether you slip with the knife when chopping carrots or your finger misses the guard while slicing ham on the industrial slicer, a momentary lapse in focus can cause a nasty gash. In extreme cases, it can lead to permanent partial disability.
4. Crush Injuries – In some restaurants, cooks make their dishes from scratch which requires them to use industrial mixers, or they have to break down boxes at the end of their shift in a trash compactor. If your hand gets caught in a device, or you simply drop it while moving it into position, crush injuries can occur.
5. Chemical Injuries – Cooks and restaurant employees are regularly exposed to caustic chemicals while cleaning and disinfecting their equipment. If these chemicals come in contact with your eyes, skin or lungs, it can cause lasting damage. Always wear gloves when working with chemicals, and wash off the area if it comes in contact with your body.
If any of these injuries knock you out of work or hinder your ability to perform your work duties, you can file for workers’ compensation in Minnesota. Dean Margolis has helped a number of cooks receive compensation for their injuries, and he can do the same for you. Reach out to his office today for more information.