Over six million injuries occur in the workplace every year, and sprains, strains and tears to muscles are some of the most common injuries restaurant workers experience.
Sprains and strains can result from a variety of things or from simple overuse. Protect yourself from these painful injuries by always practicing safety while serving at our restaurant.
Sprains occur when a ligament has been stretched too far from its normal position. Sprains of the fingers, wrists, knees and ankles are most common.
Strains are the result of pulling too far on a muscle or by pulling a muscle in one direction while it is contracting. Strains can also be caused by repetitive movements that lead to an over-stretching of muscle fibers. Strains of the back, neck, groin and hamstring are most common.
To help reduce your risk of on-the-job sprains and strains, keep these tips in mind:
- From servers to stockers, lifting is part of your work day. Always lift by bending your knees, not your back, and keep objects close to your body when carrying.
- If you are lifting something particularly heavy, like a serving tray or overflowing bus pan, use extreme caution. When in doubt, lighten your load or ask for help.
- When pouring drinks for patrons, bring their glasses to you, rather than reach across a table.
- Reduce repetitive movements if possible; chronic strains are usually the result of overuse.
- Use proper form while completing tasks such as carrying food out on the floor, and avoid extensive gripping, which can increase the risk of hand and forearm strains.
- Practice safety measures to help prevent slips from falls by cleaning up spills immediately, or marking wet floors with signs.
- Consider your posture when standing for long periods of time; maintain an overall relaxed position.
- Maintain a healthy fitness level outside of work to keep your body strong and flexible.
- Stretch before you begin your shift, and take short breaks throughout the day to stretch.
If you have any questions or concerns about sprains or strains, do not hesitate to contact your shift manager.