When you show up to work your restaurant job in California, you face a unique set of risks that differ from those faced by workers in other industries. The fast-paced nature of the industry, coupled with the fact that many workers lack experience and are often working around high temperatures and heavy equipment, means that many workers like you suffer injuries every day in American eateries.
Your employer has a duty to minimize safety hazards in your place of business as much as possible, with California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health serving as the governing body responsible for overseeing restaurant safety in the state. In addition to setting safety regulations and guidelines, the organization researches serious restaurant accident reports that often involve many of the same types of injuries.
Injuries common among restaurant workers
As someone who works in the restaurant industry, the most considerable job-specific risk you face is burning yourself. In one study that covered an eight-year period, 18 percent of all serious restaurant injuries involved burns. Falls, which were the leading cause of fatalities during that time, came in at number two, accounting for 13 percent of all injuries, while amputations and chemical exposure also made the cut.
Where employers are missing the mark
Many restaurant worker injuries are avoidable, and this is particularly true if your employer follows required safety protocols. Regrettably, many do not, with a failure to properly train employees with regard to injury prevention serving as one of the most commonly reported Cal/OSHA violations. Many restaurant owners across the state also find themselves in violation because of obstructed aisles and walkways, insufficient lighting, and a lack of high-friction surfaces meant to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
You should not have to fear for your safety each time you show up to your California restaurant job. If you suffer an injury while at work, you may have legal recourse.