a chef in a restaurant kitchen
Managing Editor

What to Do if an Employee Is Injured at Your Restaurant

Restaurants may be a welcome chance for a night out and to avoid cooking for you, but for owners, there’s a constant worry of something going wrong. Beyond just mixing up an order or a delay in service, restaurants are quite hazardous for their employees.

While most restaurants take just about every extra precaution to eliminate the risk of injury or illness, accidents can happen. Here’s what you need to do as a restaurant owner if you’re dealing with an injured worker.

Be prepared to react immediately.


There’s so much that can be done to assure safety in the commercial kitchen. Space, above else, is pivotal, to assure room for chefs to operate, while also limiting the chances for workers to crash into one another creating a workplace accident. Food prep and stainless steel restaurant kitchen tables provide work and storage space for efficiency, while also creating a durable quick-clean surface that eliminates the possibility of illness and cross-contamination. Stainless steel tables and equipment stands are easy to sanitize and can withstand corrosion.

Beyond kitchen work tables, restaurant owners should plan ahead with risk and response plans to prevent work injuries, including training employees and supervisors on safety plans and keeping assessments of first-aid supplies and emergency contacts in the event of an injury.

If a workplace accident occurs, be ready to react. Move injured workers away from an area that may still be dangerous, while telling others to stay clear. From there, assess the type of injury. If this job injury goes beyond basic first aid, call 911. Be sure to document everything you can from evidence from the workplace accident like pictures and equipment. All injuries should be documented, even if an employee says they are okay, as they may seek medical treatment at a later time. It’s also important to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Keep in communication.


After filing a workers’ comp claim with your insurance company, it’s important to follow up with your injured employee. In a work injury case, communication is key. Open lines of communication with an employee, doctors, claims adjusters, and insurance agents will help assure some speed in the claims process. This will help the injured worker receive the funds they may need to pay for medical expenses and collect on workers’ compensation.

As a restaurant owner, it’s important to be cognizant that workers’ compensation cases happen. It’s recommended that, with legal assistance, employers create documents that outline the workers’ comp process, how to file a work injury claim, and return-to-work policies for their business. This builds a level of trust and compassion with employees, while also lowering claims cost with an employer’s insurance company.

Be prepared for legal action.


Yes, an injured employee may still opt for legal action against your restaurant. This could be in cases of permanent injury, inability to utilize medical benefits, or other personal aspects of a personal injury case. Regardless of a worker suing, it’s important to still keep the communication going. Chicago workers compensation attorneys offer legal advice in these cases to keep litigation from hitting a stall.

Sometimes, legal action is taken due to a stall in the workers’ compensation system that’s not allowing injured employees to get the maximum benefits. Personal injury lawyers will look to compensate the injured for medical treatment but also temporary total disability or permanent partial disability if they’re unable to work. TTD provides up to two-thirds of an injured worker’s average weekly wage, while PPD provides benefits to work-related injuries that may make it permanently impossible to return to their job.

It’s important for restaurant management and owners to consult compensation attorneys, as well as other lawyers with expertise in this facet, especially when it comes to the rights of the employer and the victim in workers’ comp claims.



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