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N.J. Attorney on the Best Ways to Avoid Restaurant Worker Injuries

Cherry Hill, NJ workers' compensation attorneyIn the United States, 10 percent of the country’s workforce are employed in restaurants. Manta.com lists more than 40,000 restaurant companies in New Jersey alone.

With so many people in the restaurant business, accidents on the job are sure to happen, and injuries resulting in time away from work are all too common.

According to a new report by AmTrust Financial Services, the average injured restaurant worker returns to work in 30 days. Some minor injuries have employees back to work in a matter of days, while others could be out of work for a year or more.

Common injuries, time lost and claims

  • Cuts, punctures or scrapes make up a third of restaurant claims reported.
  • While sharp objects cause the most reported claims, falls and slips resulted in $198.4 million in claims paid, 4.5 times more in paid losses than for cuts, punctures or scrapes.
  • Cafés and coffee shops yield the highest lost time, on average 45 percent more time lost than all other restaurant types.
  • Wrist injuries are the biggest danger for coffee shop workers, with “barista wrist” resulting in an average of 366 days to return to work.
  • The average lost time due to restaurant injuries varies from less than four days to nearly two months.

The states with the highest average lost time were Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Vermont, while the states with the lowest average lost time were Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington and Wyoming.

Barbecue restaurants have the highest days lost for “strains from lifting” with an average of 65.9 days out.

The National Safety Council estimates 25,000 slip-and-fall accidents occur daily in the United States. Slips and falls comprise 20 percent of restaurant injuries, right behind the number one cause of injuries – cuts and lacerations, which make up 22 percent of restaurant employee injuries. Sprains, strains and soft-tissue injuries account for 15 percent of injuries, while 13 percent of injured restaurant workers suffer from burns.

New Jersey ranks 7th in the country for large losses to restaurants due to employee injury, with 3 percent frequency, 4 percent severity of injury and an average cost incurred of $235,339.

Preventing restaurant worker injuries

Restaurant Technologies reports that training employees to follow proper safety protocol hinges on the leadership skills of restaurant owners and managers. It’s important to make safety an integral part of an organization’s core business objectives. That means talking to employees about safety in the same way they discuss labor, food costs, turnover and equipment. Providing proper training to reinforce safety compliance, safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and non-slip footwear, safe use of appliances, and keeping floors dry are just a few ways to help prevent painful and costly injuries in restaurants.

If you are a New Jersey restaurant employee who was injured on the job, Kotler, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC can help you get the compensation and benefits you deserve, including medical and temporary wage benefits.

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