Common restaurant injuries covered by workers’ comp

From servers to cooks to bartenders, the food service industry employs over 12 million people in the United States. Since restaurants are the workplace of so many people, they are also common locations for work-related injuries, with one in 20 happening in restaurants. 

Restaurant injuries can happen in the front or back of the house. In this article, we will discuss the most common ways restaurant workers get injured and what to do if you are hurt on the job.

Work-related injuries in a restaurant

Working in a restaurant involves being on your feet for long periods and being exposed to heat, hot surfaces, sharp knives and other environmental hazards. Here are a few of the most common restaurant injuries that can happen at work.


Working at a restaurant may involve handling sharp objects that cause cuts and lacerations. Chefs and cooks could be most at risk if their job requires using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment.

But servers, bartenders and other staff are also at risk of cuts from broken glass, handling of utensils and other sharp objects. 


If you are working near an open flame, deep fryers, ovens, stoves or other hot objects, burns are common in the restaurant industry. Even if you are not in the kitchen, carrying hot plates or beverages can also lead to burns while at work. 

Back strain

Working in a restaurant for long hours and being on your feet or lifting heavy objects can lead to back, foot or knee injuries, sprains or strains. Additionally, restaurant work involves repetitive motions that can lead to injuries over time. 

The risk of injury can be reduced with proper posture, standing and lifting techniques. Taking your allotted breaks during your shift can also help reduce the strain on your back, legs and feet.


Slips and falls are one of the three leading causes of workplace injuries and are particularly common in restaurants. Slips and falls can be caused by spills, recently polished floors, wet floors, unsecured mats or rugs, lack of adequate lighting and uneven floors. 

Many slips and falls can be prevented by keeping walkways clear and well-lit. Any spill should be cleaned up immediately to prevent injuries.

Eye injury

Restaurant work can involve handling a variety of liquids and chemicals that can splash and hurt your eyes. Hot oil is notorious for splashing and causing burns if not carefully handled. 

Some restaurant work involves using harsh chemicals to keep surfaces clean. If not used with caution, cleaning products can cause eye injuries as well. 

Using workers’ comp for work injuries

If you are a restaurant employee and get injured at work, you might be eligible to receive a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance paid by your employer that can cover expenses and lost wages related to injuries at work. It will also provide death benefits to families of employees who die on the job. Benefits paid by workers’ comp claim will vary by state. 

Our urgent care centers can help with nonemergency workers’ common injuries or illnesses, such as burns, cuts or other injuries caused by restaurant work. Just walk in or save your spot online at our conveniently located centers.

Visit an urgent care for any work-related injuries in a restaurant

If you are unsure what to do when you get injured at a restaurant, our urgent care centers are here to help. Our caring providers offer a variety of helpful services for common restaurant injuries, such as burn treatment, stitches, wound care and lab tests. We also have an extensive network of providers if you need further evaluation or a follow-up visit. 

Our centers are in-network with most insurance providers, and we offer self-pay options. Just walk in, save your spot online or schedule a virtual visit for an evaluation and treatment.