Restaurant Employee Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor has published a report entitled “Stay Safe in the Restaurant.”  This report provides detailed information on restaurant safety. Injuries can occur at both the front and the back of the house.

Working in a restaurant can be dangerous to an employee’s health. However, steps can be taken to minimize potential hazards. One of the first things workers should do is talk to each other.  Find out what other employees see as hazards in the workplace. Communication among workers can be a simple first step toward solving potential hazards in the workplace.

Employers should hold group discussions with workers to freely discuss how to prevent worker injuries at the restaurant. Employees are in a position to understand potential hazards they experience on a regular basis. Group discussions provide employers with the opportunity to learn and improve safety in the workplace. 


Lifting heavy objects is a common source of worker injuries in restaurants. Lifting can be divided into two basic categories. The first is lifting that can be done safely by most workers without getting hurt. The second category is lifting that should not be done by workers because it involves a risk of being seriously injured.

If a worker is regularly lifting things that cause him or her straining or pain, that worker should inform the employer. Changes should be made to any process that involves painful lifting.

If lifting can be done safely and without strain or pain, employees should still take some steps to make lifting safer. Proper, slow stretching is important. Employees need to plan ahead before making a lift. They need to consider where they are going, whether they need help, whether a cart should be used, and anything else that can help in completing the task. 

When making a lift, keep the load close to your body. Avoid any twisting motions and keep all movements smooth. Do not lift anything too heavy, and consider lightening the load when possible. Employees should avoid bending their backs. If the lift becomes too difficult, set the load back down and make a better plan.

Special Steps for the Front of the House

Several simple steps can be taken to avoid worker injuries at the front of the house. Computer workstations for ordering should use adjustable touch screens. At those workstations, any direct light should be pointed upward, toward the ceiling. Coat racks should be installed at chest height.  Menu boxes should also be installed at chest height. Alcohol bottle storage should be installed between workers’ hip and shoulder height. Storage space for glassware and dishes should be between hip and chest height, as should bar refrigerators. Ice storage and bar sinks should be installed at hip height. These simple steps help reduce the potential for employee injury.

Speak to a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured as an employee, there are certain benefits to which you may be entitled.  To determine what benefits you may be entitled to, contact the Matt Pfau Law Group today. We can help guide you through the process of pursuing the compensation you deserve.

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