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Injuries common among restaurant and food service workers

If you make your living working in a Minnesota restaurant or food service environment, you may know all too well how common aches, pains and other injuries are for those in your line of work. Many of the injuries common among restaurant and food service workers are the same industrywide, meaning you face similar dangers, regardless of whether you work in a drive-thru window or a fine dining restaurant.

Just what types of workplace hazards and injury risks do you face working in a restaurant or hospitality setting?

Lifting-related injuries

Almost everyone who works in a restaurant or food service setting has to do some level of lifting, and lifting heavy loads can lead to injury, particularly when you do not follow proper lifting procedures when doing so. Servers and food runners might regularly lift heavy trays or plates, while back-of-house employees might lift heavy food deliveries. Furthermore, hosts, managers and other professionals might develop lifting injuries from moving heavy tables or chairs while rearranging them for guests.

Burn injuries

Burn injuries are also a very real possibility for back- and front-of-house employees. Back-of-house workers face burn hazards from hot cooktops, splashing hot liquids or steaming dishwashers, among other potential causes. Meanwhile, front-of-house employees run the risk of work-related burn injuries due to spilled foods or hot drinks, or from touching hot trays, plates or cooktops.

Repetitive motion injuries

You also run the risk of developing repetitive motion injuries because of your job in a food service environment. Many servers and other professionals develop sprains, strains, bulging discs and related injuries because of regularly carrying trays, heavy plates or other items, and such injuries may increase in severity if you inadvertently favor one side of your body over the other while working.

While these are some of the more common injuries suffered by restaurant, hospitality and food service workers, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all common dangers faced by this population.

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