Working as a waiter or waitress exposes you to many different types of hazards. Cuts from broken glasses and back pain are common waiter and waitress injuries but in most cases, they can be avoided.
One of the most common waiter and waitress problems is the threat from sharp knives and broken glasses. How often do you need blue plasters to cover up cuts on your hands and fingers?
Usually cuts and grazes from sharp objects are minor injuries but in more serious cases, they can be severe. When you're working with cutlery and glasses on a regular basis, it is easy to forget they need to be handled carefully.
To reduce cuts and lacerations at work, make sure to handle cutlery safely. Steak knives, especially, should be in the middle of the plate when carrying finished meals back to the kitchen. Before you pick up any plates, realign cutlery to ensure none fall whilst being carried. If a glass is broken, pick it up wearing gloves or use a brush and pan to avoid touching it with your hands.
2. Burns and scalds
Carrying hot food and drinks increases the risk of being burned or scalded at work. Especially when food has been put in the microwave.
To reduce the chance of suffering a burn at work, you should carry plates and trays away from your body. In the unfortunate occasion that you do drop a plate, you can avoid being burnt. It's quicker to tidy up a mess rather than the time it takes to heal from a serious burn.
3. Back pain
Painful back ache is common for servers because you're on your feet for long periods of time and repeatedly carrying plates and trays.
Bending down to pick up heavy objects can cause serious injury to your back, if you don't lift correctly.
When lifting, you should bend your knees, and avoid taking the weight on your back. You might feel uncomfortable asking for assistance but if something is too heavy for you to carry alone then you must ask someone to help you.
4. Wrist strain
Just like baristas, who can suffer from repetitive strain injury, servers can suffer from wrist strain. Carrying plates incorrectly results in putting too much strain on your wrists and hands. When you're doing a nine-hour shift, this repeated action can cause serious muscle damage.
You can avoid this by making sure you're carrying plates correctly. When you're carrying two or three plates, it's important you spread the balance over your hands and arms, and avoid putting it all on your wrists.
5. Leg sprain
As a food server, you will probably do over 10,000 steps a day when you're at work. You're constantly on your feet and walking back and forth from the kitchen to the restaurant. Slips, trips and falls can do all types of damage. A slip can cause ankle and leg sprains while falling over at work can break bones and other serious injury.
Most servers fall over when they're carrying plates and trays because they can't see where they are walking. Just by wearing slip-resistant work shoes, you can significantly reduce the chance of falling over and hurting yourself. When you're walking for most of your shift, you cannot rely on shoes that have no grip.
6. Sore feet
One of the most common waiter and waitress injuries is sore feet. This is usually caused by wearing unsupportive shoes at work. While you might be tempted to wear your comfy trainers, they don't have the support of actual work shoes.
At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. our server shoes are designed for waiters and waitresses. The hard-wearing arch support defends your feet from excess strain. Made from high quality materials, they last longer than your average shoe and when you're working as a server, you need shoes that will last longer than three months. All our work shoes are fitted with our Mighty Grip tread which means you get maximum slip-resistant grip.
Defend yourself from aches and pains with the right shoes for work
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