The hospitality and service industries represent a major opportunity for workers in California. They can give you a chance to support yourself with flexible hours while going to school or even working another entry-level job.
You don’t need a degree or any job experience to provide service and support to customers and clients at a business hotel or restaurant. Additionally, the potential exists to receive generous gratuities and tips when you provide excellent service or build a rapport with repeat customers.
With those benefits come certain risks. Although hospitality and service work may not have the same degree of risk that jobs in fishing, agriculture or construction have, people who work in hospitality get hurt all the time on the job. What are some of the biggest risks for hospitality workers that can result in workers’ compensation claims?
Overexertion is a leading cause of injury in service and hospitality fields
Servers, barbacks and other professionals that take care of customers may have to lift, carry or maneuver heavy items. Whether you have to lift a case of new products to put it on a display or move someone’s luggage for them, you could potentially hurt your back, your legs or your arms while trying to perform physical service.
Strains, sprains and even broken bones from overexertion will often mean an extended leave of absence from work for those working in service and hospitality.
The need for speed often results in the risk of falls
People in service or hospitality have to move quickly and manage multiple issues and requests at one time. Rapid changes in direction, focusing on a destination rather than the environment and even just moving a little too fast can all increase the risk of slipping and falling on the job.
While many people who fall in service or hospitality jobs will fall on the same surface, not down a flight of stairs or off the side of a building, those falls can still result in injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries.
Hospitality workers also have risks for chemical exposure, electrical injuries, cuts due to knives or broken glass, and even violence from co-workers of customers. As with any other hardworking employee, hospitality workers who suffer injuries on the job have the right to seek compensation for their lost wages and the medical care they need during their recovery.