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.
As with any type of employer, those who employ catering staff must do all they can to keep their workplace as safe as possible. That involves carrying out regular risk assessments and removing as much danger as possible. Failure to do so could lead to a catering injury claim for compensation.
If you have been injured in the catering industry and are thinking of starting a claim, we’re here to help you. Our personal injury team offer free telephone consultations to discuss your accident along with free, expert advice. There’s no obligation to make a claim but if your case is strong enough, we could introduce you to one of our solicitors. Importantly, they will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if they take you on as a client.
If you would like to discuss a catering injury claim straight away, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881. Otherwise, please read on to learn more.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Catering Injury Claim?
- Common Injuries Suffered By Caterers And Catering Staff
- Reducing Risks In The Catering Industry
- How Much Compensation For A Catering Injury Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Catering Injury Claim
- Time Limits For Catering Injury Claims
- Benefits Of Using A Solicitor To File A Catering Accident Claim
If you would like one of our personal injury solicitors to take your catering injury claim on, they’ll need to check it meets a set of important criteria. Before offering their No Win No Fee service, the solicitor will check that:
- Your employer owed you a duty of care legally (this is almost always true); and
- As a result of their negligence, an accident happened; and
- During that accident, you were injured or made ill.
As we continue, we’ll take a look at how you could prove what happened and how you were injured. Before that, we’ll provide some examples of the types of negligence that could enable you to claim compensation against your employer.
Some of the more common injuries that might lead to a catering injury claim by caterers or catering staff include:
- Fractures, sprains and bruises caused by falling on a wet floor.
- Burns and scalds from hot liquids, hot surfaces like ovens, hot plates and hobs.
- Electric shock at work from exposed electrical wiring or faulty kitchen appliances.
- Back injuries caused by manual handling.
- Permanent scars from cuts and lacerations caused by knives, cutting devices or other sharp kitchen equipment.
It is important to have any injuries treated by a medical professional. While first aid might help at the scene, it should not be relied upon.
While eliminating risks and avoiding accidents completely may not be possible in the catering industry, 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 equipment 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.
- 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 damaged flooring that staff might trip on.
- 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 minimise 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 catering staff are injured as a result of that negligence, they may be able to sue them for compensation.
As explained in the previous section, employers are legally bound to try and keep their catering staff safe while at work. That means they need to implement procedures and processes to make the workplace as safe as possible. Catering compensation claims could be made if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. Some examples include injuries resulting from:
- A lack of proper safety training.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Faulty kitchen appliances.
- Unmaintained equipment.
- Tiredness linked to a lack of proper rest breaks.
Whatever type of negligence has caused your catering accident at work, please call our team if you’d like free information about your options.
Before we look at calculating compensation for a catering injury claim, it’s important to note that you can’t be sacked (or disciplined) for making one. If that were to happen, your employer could also face an unfair dismissal case as well.
When you make a compensation claim for a catering accident at work, your solicitor can claim for two different heads of loss:
- General damages. Where you’ll claim for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity your injuries have caused. On top of your physical pain, you are also able to claim for any psychiatric injuries too. This could allow you to claim for any distress or anxiety relating to your accident.
- Special damages. If you sustain costs, losses or expenses linked to your injuries, you could claim them back. You might need to request lost earnings, the cost of replacing damaged property, medical costs or travel expenses.
The nature of your injuries is the main factor used to determine your settlement amount. For that reason, a medical assessment may be needed. If so, you shouldn’t be concerned about this, though. An appointment will be arranged locally to you (where possible) with an independent specialist. They will examine your injuries from the catering accident and discuss how they have affected your everyday life. They may also review your medical records. Once finished they’ll send a report to all parties involved.
In this section, we’ve included a personal injury compensation calculator. It shows a number of relevant injuries related to catering accidents along with a compensation range (for general damages only). Please use these figures for guidance only at this point. That’s because each claim is different and, if your catering injury claim is won, you may receive less (or more) than the figures quoted.
Don’t worry if your injury isn’t listed as we can help with any type of catering injury claim. So long as your injury resulted from somebody else’s negligence, please call our team. After reviewing your eligibility, and if your claim is taken on, they’ll let you know how much compensation could be awarded for your injuries.
To gather evidence following any type of catering accident, you could:
- Take photographs/video. A picture or video of the accident scene could really help especially if it shows the root cause of the accident. Therefore, where it’s safe to do so, take a picture/ video footage on your phone before anything is moved.
- Get treatment. It is important that your injuries are assessed and treated by a medical professional. By visiting A&E or a minor injuries unit, not only will that happen, but your injuries will also be documented in your medical records.
- Report the accident. Legally, your employer must fill out an accident report form in they’re made aware of the incident. This can be useful evidence in any subsequent catering compensation claim as it will confirm dates, times and locations.
- Use witnesses. Where your catering accident was seen by others, it’s a good idea to write down their details. If your solicitor needs a statement to help corroborate your version of events, they can be contacted at a later date.
- Use camera footage. Some catering establishments use security cameras to keep staff, customers, and premises safe. Therefore, if your accident was captured on camera, request a copy of the relevant recording.
We can check whether you have enough evidence to proceed when you get in touch, and if not we could help to obtain it, where possible. So, please call today to ask for a free catering injury claim review.
If you would like to claim against your employer because you’ve been injured in a catering accident at work, there are time limits that apply. In general, you’ll have 3-years from the date of the accident at work in which you were injured. However, if you suffered some type of injury that doesn’t manifest until a later date, such as occupational dermatitis, your claim could start from the date of the diagnosis.
We suggest that you start your claim as early as possible. That’s because if your employer admits liability early on in the claims process, your solicitor could request an interim payment to help cover the cost of private healthcare if it’s needed. Also, by beginning the claim as early as possible, you will allow your solicitor plenty of time to collect and collate the evidence required to help substantiate your claim.
You might not realise it but when you claim compensation for a catering accident against your employer, the case will typically be handled by an insurance company. To receive a payout for your injuries, you’ll need compelling evidence that your injuries were caused by their client (your employer). If you can’t your compensation payment could be reduced drastically, or you might not be paid at all.
We believe personal injury solicitors increase the chances of compensation being awarded. If your claim is taken on, one of our solicitors will represent you using a No Win No Fee agreement. They’ll start by gathering evidence and submitting your claim. Importantly, they will take on responsibility for all communication. That means the insurance company won’t overwhelm you with legal or medical questions.
Throughout the catering accident claims process, you’ll be kept up to date. Also, your solicitor will be there to answer any queries you think of. Their main role, though, will be to try and secure the maximum compensation possible in your case. If an offer does not appear to value your injuries correctly, they’ll fight your corner and try to negotiate for more.
To begin a catering claim today, call our advice line on 0800 6524 881. We’ll assess the merits of your catering injury claim for free and advise you about your chances of being compensated.