We may not think of the catering industry as a particularly dangerous one to work in, but the fact is it does have its fair share of risks. Those who work in the kitchen run the risk of injury from sharp kitchen equipment or burns from hot hobs and ovens. Wait staff run the risk of trip and fall injuries or back injuries. Cleaning staff could suffer cuts and lacerations. In severe cases, these injuries could be severe enough to cause lasting damage.
Anyone working in the catering industry such as a chef, waiters, waitresses, may be entitled to file a catering injury claim if their injury was caused not because of anything they did but because of inappropriate health and safety measures in the workplace.
Accidents That Are Common In The Catering Industry
Within the catering industry, accidents can occur in and out of the kitchen. These may include but are not limited to:
- Burns from hot surfaces such as hobs, hot plates and ovens.
- Scalds from hot liquids.
- Cuts from sharp knives and other sharp kitchen equipment.
- Faulty kitchen appliances.
- Electrocution from exposed wiring.
- Bruises, sprains, and fractures from slipping and falling on wet surfaces.
- Back injuries from lifting heavy objects.
Is It Possible To Eliminate Risks In The Catering Industry?
While eliminating risks and avoiding accidents completely may not be possible in any workplace, there are things that can be done to minimise the dangers.
According to the law in the UK, employers have a duty of care towards the people they employ. This applies across all industries and workplaces, including the catering industry. This means, as an employee working in this industry, you should expect that your employer will put certain measures in place to prevent potential accidents.
Every industry has its own unique safety precautions and protocol. In the catering industry this may involve:
- Providing all workers with the appropriate protective gear depending on their exact role in the workplace. All employees working directly with open flames such as barbeques or gas stoves should be provided with flame-proof gloves and aprons. Those working with hot surfaces such as ovens and hobs must be provided with heat-resistant gloves and aprons. If you haven’t been provided with the correct PPE you may like to read our advice here.
- Providing appropriate training on the correct and safe way to operate and maintain various kitchen appliances, from microwaves and electric hobs to heavy-duty blenders and slicers.
- Replacing all faulty, dangerous appliances with safer alternatives that work properly.
- Ensuring that all electrical appliances and wiring are properly insulated with no risk of electrical shock.
- Educating staff about good workplace practices such as keeping dangerous items safely away after use, learning how to lift and carry heavy items correctly to prevent back and knee injuries, and knowing how to handle hot utensils.
- Ensuring that there are no unnecessary objects lying around or ripped carpets that staff may trip over.
- Getting all spills cleaned up immediately to avoid slipping.
These are just some of the protective measures and safeguards that employers are expected to observe in order to minimize risks in the workplace, whether it is in the cooking, serving or reception areas.
If the employer fails to observe the standard safety procedures and a worker gets injured as a result of that negligence, they may be entitled to file a catering injury claim.
How Much Compensation For A Catering Injury?
There is no one fixed amount that is awarded to all victims of catering accidents and injury. The compensation that you will be awarded will depend on the extent of your injuries, your actual expenses related to the accident and other losses incurred because of your injuries.
In general, you should be reimbursed for all medical expenses including doctor’s fees, prescription medication, surgery, hospital bills, long-term care such as physiotherapy and the cost of travelling to and from the hospital. You should also be compensated for pain and suffering, and loss of salary if you had to stay away from work for a while or if you are unable to go back to work. Speak with us to explain your catering injury and we can advise on how much compensation for your injury you could claim for.
How To Start A Successful Compensation Claim For A Catering Accident
Providing solid evidence that your injuries were caused by somebody else’s mistake or negligence is the key to filing a successful catering injury compensation claim. Here are a few things that will support your claim for compensation.
- Photographic evidence – Photographs never lie. If you can get photographs of the catering accident scene and what caused your injuries, it will be impossible for your employer to refute it.
- A detailed report of the accident – All workplaces are required to have a log book which is usually kept in the duty manager’s office or similar. Make sure you file an accident report with details of exactly what happened. Keep one copy of the report for yourself to submit to the court as supporting evidence.
- Witness records – Ask your co-workers who might have witnessed the accident if they are willing to provide a statement describing what happened.
- All medical records – Getting medical attention after a catering accident is important for two reasons. Firstly, you need to need to get your injuries treated. Secondly, your medical records will indicate the extent of your injuries, which is necessary for calculating the amount of compensation due to you.
Getting professional legal representation is another key aspect of winning a catering accident claim. Personal injury solicitors will have thorough knowledge of the law and will use their experience and expertise to put together a strong case on your behalf.
What’s more if we take your claim on, we will do this on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement, which essentially states that you are only liable to pay any fee if we win the case for you and the court awards you compensation. Our fee is always agreed by our clients and ourselves prior to you signing.