Cintas Corp. has released a list of the top four restaurant injuries. In fact, one in 20 on-the-job injuries and illnesses worldwide occur at eating and drinking establishments, due in part to a generally inexperienced workforce operating in an environment where cuts, burns, slips and falls are a constant hazard. According to studies from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), for every dollar spent in safety programs, businesses can save between four and six dollars from costs associated with injuries and fatalities.
The top injuries according to Cintas are...
1. Lacerations and punctures.
2. Burns. As many as a third of occupational burns occur in restaurants, totaling about 12,000 reported cases per year, although the actual number is projected to be much higher.
3. Sprains and strains. Misplaced or hard-to-reach items can cause worker injury due to overreaching or trips. Restaurant workers can also suffer from strains due to improper lifting.
4. Eye injury. Splashes from grease or sanitizing chemicals frequently used in foodservice environments can result in injury to the eye.
By implementing a first-aid program developed with the specific challenges and injuries of a foodservice operation in mind, operators can help protect their workers and reduce exposure. The following steps can help prepare for common injuries:
1. Install an onsite first-aid cabinet. Place the cabinet in an identifiable location so that all employees can easily access it if an accident occurs.
2. Stock the cabinet with a wide selection of supplies to treat common foodservice injuries.
3. Make sure the cabinet is restocked on a regular basis.
4. Train and educate employees on proper use of the first-aid items and protocols on how to handle emergency situations
5. Complement first aid initiatives with other safety programs, like AEDs, fire programs and mat systems.