Those working in the catering industry can be exposed to potential hazards every day. Although these could be numerous, the Health and Safety Executive published data which revealed that the most common dangers in this profession usually involve manual handling operations, slips, trips, or falls, cuts from sharp knives, or burns or scalds from hot surfaces.
In addition, diagnoses of contact dermatitis are common amongst caterers. This condition may develop after exposure to particular substances. As a result, they may suffer itchy, blistering, or cracked skin – and this can be extremely painful.
Although all managers should adhere to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and implement appropriate measures to reasonably prevent staff members from suffering personal injury in the workplace, employers in the catering industry should pay particular attention to these hazards when carrying out their risk assessments.
What precautions should be taken?
Employers could follow a number of precautions in order to prevent staff members from suffering a burn or scald injury, such as:
- Providing adequate personal protective equipment to those carrying hot items;
- Instructing employees to turn off ovens, hobs, or hot surfaces when these are not in use;
- Ensuring pots are not overfilled;
- Making sure objects are not left on top of hot surfaces; and
- Consulting employees to find out if workplace safety measures could be improved.
By implementing suitable measures to prevent accidents at work, managers could see a number of benefits, such as better employee productivity, reduced costs, and might acquire an improved reputation amongst shareholders as well as investors.
Furthermore, if an employer did everything they could to responsibly prevent their workers from suffering harm, they may be less likely to be found liable if a staff member makes a burn or scalding accident claim.
However, the findings of a survey appear to show that many employers in the catering industry do not take accident prevention seriously.
Published by a health and safety firm in 2007, research suggests 60% of restaurant owners could have deliberately placed incorrect information in their records in order to pass safety inspections.
Moreover, 65% of these businesses only had up to two staff members who understood their legal responsibilities and knew about safe working practices – suggesting that the majority of UK restaurants are also failing to implement appropriate training.
Are you eligible to claim compensation?
If you sustained personal injury while working in the catering industry, you may be entitled to claim accident at work compensation providing the incident was not your fault.
Following a workplace accident, our skilled team realise that no amount of money can ever make things truly right, but if an employer's negligence resulted in you experiencing harm, they will fight to help you receive damages.
To find out if you could benefit from the services of a Seth Lovis & Co solicitor, please call us today on 0808 252 0678. Alternatively, complete an online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you at a more convenient time.