Atlanta workers’ compensation cases are often complex and confusing. If you work in the restaurant or hotel industry, the injuries you are at risk for vary. While some may seem minor, there are many that can cause serious and long-term issues. Keep reading to learn more about these injuries and get in touch with the attorneys from The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines if you are injured while working in this field.
Employees in the service and hospitality industries can work in an array of settings, including salons, spas, hotels, and restaurants. While these businesses are essential in today’s economy and society, the workers face several hazards and dangerous situations each day. Getting to know what some of the most common hazards are is one of the best ways to protect against future accidents and injuries.
Risks to Restaurant Workers
Working in a restaurant comes with several unique risks. While you may not view this type of work as being dangerous, the hazards are present and can cause serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries those working in the restaurant field experience include:
Puncture Wounds and Lacerations
Because restaurant workers have frequent contact with chopping tools, knives, and other types of sharp utensils, including broken glass, they often experience these types of injuries. If a cut is deep enough, it can cause serious blood loss and even life-threatening issues.
Restaurants have to make a large amount of food for customers. Because of this, most establishments have several stove top burners and ovens running all the time. These can cause workers’ sustaining first-, second-, and even third-degree burns. These burns can occur because of boiling water, open flames, and hot pans. Even hot steam can cause burns on a worker’s exposed skin.
Strains and Sprains
Some types of liquids, including cleaning products, oil, soda, milk, or coffee, are found in most restaurant kitchens and bars. If an employee or a customer accidentally spills their drink or another liquid and it isn’t cleaned right away, a worker may slip and fall. If this happens, they can experience a sprain or strain to their back, wrist, or ankle. Other causes of these injuries include clutter like garbage, boxes, or excess tables and chairs.
Restaurant workers are exposed to grease splatters and chemicals splashing or spilling. When this happens, it can cause serious eye injuries. Seeking immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent long-term vision issues or blindness.
Most Atlanta restaurants are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their workers. The goal of this coverage is to ensure workers have recourse if an injury occurs and provide payment for medical costs and lost wages due to time away from their job.
Risks to Hotel Workers
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that even if the worker has some responsibility for their accident and injury, they can still receive benefits.
Hiring an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney to help with this situation will be in your best interest to help you get the benefits you deserve. It’s also helpful to know some of the most common injuries that can occur in this industry.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Hotels are full of potential hazards for workers. These include things like uneven flooring, spilled beverages, icy walkways, and worn carpeting. Each of these situations and many other hazards can cause workers stumbling and falling. This type of incident can cause serious and life-changing injuries, like severe sprains, head injuries, and broken bones.
Lifting, pulling, and bending are all parts of hotel workers’ day-to-day duties. Unfortunately, these actions can cause serious musculoskeletal injuries that range from severe to minor. What causes the injury is the main factor in how serious it is. How long the worker must deal with the pain and complications from the injury depend on if they seek medical care right away.
Many hotel workers will come in contact with many chemicals each day. A burn can occur if these chemicals touch their skin. Burns can occur because of steam or hot surfaces and even strong cleaning agents.
Helpful Tips for Preventing Injuries in Restaurants and Hotels
If you are injured at work, hiring an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney is highly recommended. While this is beneficial, there are also tips you can use to help prevent injuries. Ensuring that workers know what to do to prevent injuries will go a long way in avoiding accidents and injuries while on the job.
Some of the top prevention tips for accidents in the restaurant and hotel industry include:
Focus on Teamwork
Instead of leaving the job of heaving lifting to just one person, workers in restaurants and hotels should work as a team when trying to lift heavy items like food boxes, dishes, mattresses, and more. This will help reduce the possibility of overexertion injuries. Also, businesses can invest in different machines and lifting tools that will reduce the stress related to heavy lifting.
Invest in Higher Quality Tools for the Job
Employers need to ensure that employees have quality ergonomically designed equipment like vacuum cleaners, carts, and more. This helps to ensure that workers don’t have to bend or stretch in unusual or awkward positions that may cause musculoskeletal injuries. It’s also smart for employers to find other ways to make the jobs of their workers safer.
The Use of Proper Safety Equipment
It’s necessary for employers to make sure that employees have the proper safety equipment so they can avoid accidents. The safety equipment needed includes things like eyewear, gloves, and similar items. These will help protect workers from any potentially harmful chemicals they may be using. It’s also necessary for workers to wear non-slip footwear.
Take the Proper Preventative Measures
Restaurant and hotel workers should receive proper training regarding body mechanics. An example would be encouraging staff to do stretching exercises before their shift begins. When they do this, it can help with warming up the muscles and reduce the possibility of serious musculoskeletal work injuries. It is also beneficial to make sure that workers in these fields get regular and frequent breaks during the day to reduce cases of fatigue.
Steps to Take if You are Injured as a Restaurant or Hotel Worker
If you experienced a work-related injury as a restaurant or hotel worker, you have rights. One of these is to recover benefits from your employer. Hiring an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve.
However, to protect your rights, you need to take the right steps after an accident occurs. These steps include:
Get Medical Care Immediately
It’s important to seek medical attention right away after being involved in a workplace accident. When getting medical help, be sure you talk to your employer to find out if there is a designated doctor required by their workers’ comp insurance provider. Along with protecting your health, getting medical attention right away will ensure that you have documentation of your injuries. This is important when making a claim for benefits.
Report the Incident to Your Employer
You must report the incident to your employer. This is necessary to ensure they can take the next steps in the filing process. Georgia law states that you must report your workplace accident within 30 days. Failure to do this may impact your ability to recover the benefits you deserve
Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation cases can have a lot of issues and complexities. This is especially the case if you have experienced a severe injury. Because of this, you should get in touch with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can. The longer they have to learn about your case, the more help they can provide with your legal situation, which will increase the possibility of you getting a fair amount of compensation.
Protect Your Rights in an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Case
If you are injured at work, you have rights. Working in the restaurant and hotel industry comes with several hazards. Knowing what these are will help you avoid serious injuries.
While this is true, there are still several accidents and injuries that may occur. Because of this, it’s a good idea to know and protect your rights. At The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to handle your case and ensure you get the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us for more information.
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