Bruises and burns an occupational hazard for kitchen workhorses

Chefs

Unsafe working conditions among Britain’s restaurants and catering establishments are putting the health of its workers in serious danger, a new report has claimed.

The in-depth study into the conditions of Britain’s workplaces discovered a staggering 67% of employees from the catering and hospitality industry claim their working environment to be a health and safety hazard.

Almost half of the workers (43%) surveyed from the industry said they had suffered from an injury at work, with 14% having been to hospital due to a work-related illness or injury.

The research, commissioned by solicitors Hayward Baker, reveals that the average worker from the industry has had three accidents at work, with one of those accidents happening in the last 12 months.

More than one in 10 (13%) believe their workplace has no health and safety protection, which was the reason for their injury.

A further 11% said there was a lack of training from their line manager, while 9% said they had unsatisfactory equipment to carry out their job.

More than a third (38%) of staff polled from the industry regularly complained to their bosses about the state of their place of work, with a further 16%t saying their manager did nothing to rectify the situation.

The research was commissioned by the company following the launch of its new interactive injury compensation calculator, which provides workers with an estimate of how much compensation they could be entitled to following an accident or injury.

A spokesperson for Hayward Baker Solicitors said: “Going to work could seriously damage the health of catering and hospitality staff working within the industry, especially if their manager fails to take working conditions and safety seriously enough.

“Our free to use injury compensation calculator gives workers within the catering and hospitality easy access to information that can really help them decide if they have a valid claim against their employer.”

Common ‘minor’ workplace injuries in the restaurant or leisure environment are cuts (34%), small burns (34%), bruises (22%), strained backs (20%) and sprains (11%). The more ‘severe’ accidents that followed an injury at work in a restaurant or kitchen includes dislocations (11%).

However, a more than third of accidents (36%) among the sample were considered ‘moderate’ by solicitors and serious enough to make a claim, with either a broken bone or fracture as the direct result of their injury.

More than half (57%) said that the accident was their employer’s fault compared to less than a third (30%) who said the accident was their fault.

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