Common Restaurant Injuries

Although most people wouldn’t imagine food service as a dangerous job, the kitchen and dining room can be hazardous places to work. In reality, 1 out of every 20 on-the-job injuries and illnesses happens at an institution that serves food or drink.

Read on to learn about the 4 most common injuries in the restaurant environment – and some tips to prevent them.

Lacerations and Punctures

Whether restaurant employees work on the service floor, in the kitchen, or in back-of-house, they are always exposed to sharp objects. Servers can cut themselves on knives, chefs can have mishaps with slicers, and dishwashers can be harmed by broken plates and glasses.

To avoid accidental lacerations and punctures, all employees should be trained on blade safety and sharp objects and broken glass should be handled with care and according to company protocol.


No-one wants hot food to be served lukewarm, so dishes often come out of the kitchen piping hot. Without proper warning, servers can burn their hands or wrists. In the kitchen, employees have to deal with hot stoves, boiling water, and grease. As many as one third of occupational burns occur in restaurants, but many more go unreported.

Avoiding burns can be as simple as wearing protective attire, like oven mitts and spatter shields.

Slips, Trips, and Strains

Working in a restaurant means working in a fast-paced environment. Servers and cooks must move quickly across floors that are sometimes slippery. Or, they are operating in crowded spaces where corners and obstacles present unique challenges. Additionally, employees are always using up materials and foodstuffs. Improper lifting of, or overreaching towards, supplies can quickly create strain on an employee’s back or muscles.

To reduce these injuries, wear slip-resistant footwear, use non-slip mats, keep pathways clear and floors clean at all times, and make sure employees understand the proper methods for lifting and carrying.

Eye Injuries

Within a restaurant, there are many substances that can sizzle and splash. If hot grease or dangerous chemicals get in a worker’s eyes, employees can sustain long-term damage to their vision. Treating the injury right away helps prevent this loss, but avoiding the accident entirely ensures that this kind of loss will never happen.

Spatter shields or safety glasses are helpful tools in preventing eye injuries. To avoid rushing and spills, employees should also have scheduled time to complete cleaning and side tasks.

What to do After an Accident

If you get hurt in a restaurant in California, you should be covered under workers’ compensation. If your benefits are denied or insufficient, consider contacting an employment law attorney.

At Limonjyan Law Group, we make the entire process as easy as possible and aggressively stand up for workers’ rights. No matter where you’re coming from, we’ve got you covered.

Pursue what you’re entitled to today by calling (213) 277-7444 or requesting a free consultation.