Why is summer a heightened time for restaurant injuries?

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Why is summer a heightened time for restaurant injuries?

  • 06/16/22
  • AmTrust Financial


Summary: There is usually a peak in work injuries during the summer months due to new and temporary workers, including a large group of young workers. Find out why it’s important to implement restaurant safety tips to help reduce the risk of injury for these seasonal and year-round workers.

For most teens and young adults, summer means a break from books and long hours of study. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to wind down on those long, hot days. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between April and July 2021, the number of young employees aged 16 to 24 increased by 2.4 million or 22.5 million young workers. Whether these young people aim to save money for things like a car or tuition, or simply to fill their days during their school break, many find themselves working in the restaurant industry. In fact, many young workers’ first work experience is in some type of food establishment.

The BLS data also showed that workers aged 16 to 24 were heavily concentrated in leisure and hospitality occupations. As the lower end of this age group is still in school, they have not had as much work experience or job-related training as those in their early twenties. However, the catering industry offers short-term training to help them qualify and acclimate quickly.

Seasonal jobs and restaurant injuries in the summer

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), employees under the age of 18 experience approximately 160,000 work-related injuries and illnesses each summer, with the majority of these injuries occurring in the construction industry. restoration. Additionally, inexperienced and/or newly hired seasonal workers are more likely to be injured than those who have been on the job for a while. Some of the major contributing factors to summer work-related injuries among young workers in the restaurant industry include:

less experience

For many teenagers, a seasonal job in the restaurant industry is the first job they’ve ever had. This means they have less work experience to draw on and may not fully understand best practices for staying safe while performing their required tasks.

Inconsistent training

Essential training on job requirements and safe operating procedures can often be sporadic for teens who are part-time or temporary employees, leaving them without the right information and guidance to help prevent work-related injuries.

Physical and mental attributes

The physical and mental attributes of young workers can create a higher risk of work-related injuries. For example, young, short workers may be required to maintain awkward positions when using certain types of equipment, which can lead to strains and other injuries that an older, taller worker may not. to encounter. Additionally, because some younger workers lack experience and more mature judgment, they may engage in dangerous behaviors that can increase their risk of injury.

Lack of knowledge regarding federal and state laws

Child labor laws limit the types of jobs, hours worked, and equipment that can be used by employees under 18. Employers should be familiar with federal and state child labor laws so that they fully understand the tasks their young workforce may perform before hiring. teenagers for the summer months.

Reduce restaurant injuries during the summer months

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employees, including those who are seasonal or part-time, have every opportunity to fully participate in training programs, receive clear and consistent supervision of safe work practices and be aware of their right to work in a Safe Environment. Keep in mind that young workers may be reluctant to ask questions or make requests about the tasks assigned to them, even if they have never performed such tasks before. Employers should always assume that new hires have no safety training and then strive to provide it to them at the start of their employment.

OSHA offers the following recommendations to ensure that young workers understand how to prevent candidate injuries during their summer seasonal jobs:

Set up seasonal training programs

Avoiding some of the most common workplace injuries in restaurants can be as simple as ensuring that all seasonal employees are properly trained in restaurant safety best practices. This training should include how to avoid slips and falls, fire and burn prevention tips, knife safety, repetitive motion injuries and more.

Set up a buddy system

Allow new restaurant employees to shadow experienced workers in a variety of tasks. This can help younger employees feel more comfortable early in their role by providing mentors to turn to when they have specific job-related questions.

Label equipment prohibited for young workers

Publicize the pieces of equipment that should not be handled by those under the age of 18. This helps make it clear what equipment is safe and legal for young workers.

Host a Q&A session for new hires

Remember that since young, newly hired workers may not feel comfortable talking and asking questions, employers should consider hosting a question and answer session for new hires. Or, at the very least, encourage them to ask questions throughout their training process or observe their mentor.

Explain procedures for work-related injuries

Make sure young employees know exactly what to do in the event of an accident on the job, whether they hurt themselves or see another employee injured. Immediate incident reporting is a key procedure for achieving better medical outcomes and reducing claims costs.

AmTrust Financial Loss Control and Restaurant Insurance

Help your young seasonal workers avoid work-related injuries by considering the restaurant safety tips shared above. AmTrust’s loss control service can help identify specific risks and provide solutions tailored to your restaurant operation. We are committed to providing the right recommendations and resources to create the most effective loss prevention program for your business. Plus, we offer coverage to a variety of restaurant types, from fine dining establishments to cafes and restaurants. Please contact us today to find out more.

Courtesy of AmTrust Financial




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Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writing from a variety of workers’ compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.

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