Catering And Kitchen Injury Claims
Claim for Injuries in the Kitchen
Sophie Davies Partner
Commercial kitchens are a notoriously dangerous environment. Where water, oil, and flames combine with noise, speed and people there is always the prospect of an accident happening. There are thousands of kitchens in the hospitality and catering industry in the UK, in restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels, and some engage a low-paid workforce with high staff turnover. To avoid accidents at work claims the challenge is to train all staff in safe practices so they are not a danger to themselves or their colleagues and to ensure that the working environment is as safe as it reasonably can be.
Dangers arising from a slippery kitchen floor
One particular danger, which causes the most accidents in the kitchen, is the slippery floor. All kinds of liquids and substances end up on the floor of a busy kitchen, but attention to safety and observing proper drills will greatly reduce the risk of kitchen workers slipping and suffering an injury. A kitchen is a place of hard surfaces and edges, and busy kitchen workers will often be carrying hot or heavy items, so a slipping accident can sometimes rest in a serious injury. The Health and Safety Executive recognises the difference safety flooring can make, and has published guidelines for employers on how to make the floor surface of their kitchens low risk for slips.
Avoidable injuries in the kitchen
Another occupational hazard for chefs and kitchen workers is the risk of burns and cuts. Burns can be from the oven, hob or other hot surfaces or pot and pan. Cuts are common from the use of the array of very sharp knives and slicing machines used in catering. Of course, all chefs accept the risk of a scald, burn or cut from a moment of inattention, and nobody else will usually be to blame for that, but sometimes the lack of concentration is caused by fatigue from long hours (that perhaps breach the Working Time Directive). Other times the injury will be caused by the carelessness of a colleague, for which the employer will be liable, or a system failure which exposes the worker to a foreseeable risk.
Risks to front-of-house restaurant staff
Waiters and waitresses spend much of their time entering and leaving kitchens and there needs to be a safe system for them to collect trays, plates, food and drink and to pass between the kitchen and the front of house without collisions and slips. A surprisingly high number of establishments seem to have doors to the kitchen that open both ways but contain no window, so waiters can crash into each other.
Injuries occurring at the factory stage
The food production industry is highly mechanised and often operates a factory model, where workers have a set task which is repeated endlessly, and with output, targets to meet. Unless planned carefully, with appropriate variation and breaks, this work can cause repetitive strain injuries.
Osbornes has acted for many chefs, waiters, pot washers and other kitchen workers. Unless the accident was caused by the injured person’s own carelessness the claim would usually be successful.
A recent case
Mrs B was one such client. She loved her job running a kitchen and spent most of her spare time looking after her disabled children. She suffered a nasty and entirely avoidable injury at work when the industrial dishwasher broke down and started leaking water onto the kitchen floor. She reported the problem but her employers failed to repair or replace it. As a result, she continued to use it and mopped up the water as best she could, but a few days later there was a pool of water she had not noticed and she slipped on it, landing the other elbow and suffering a bad fracture. As a result, she needed surgery, was not able to work for months, and was left with a disability that meant she could no longer do the heavier work in the kitchen. She became depressed because she missed the job she so enjoyed and she was not able to look after her disabled son for the period of her own rehabilitation. Her employers admitted liability and she was compensated for the injury, her loss of earnings and the psychological and domestic effects on her.
Accident At Work Expertise
- Accidents In The Office
- Catering And Kitchen Injury Claims
- Construction Accident Claims
- Farm Accident Claims
- Forklift Accident Claims
- Industrial Injury Claims
- Garage And Motor Repair Injury Claims
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Ben Posford is fiercely bright, with an unrivalled passion for his clients’ cases. His encyclopaedic knowledge of all things PI is second to none. His foresight and commercial nous have propelled Osbornes into the highest echelons of the market where they rightly belong.
The firm has an excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants, managed by recruiting paralegals with multi-language skills – an impressive route for expansion of the caseload.
Great expanding team with expertise and respect in the sector. Led by a commercially savvy and business minded team.
A really excellent group of PI solicitors, notable for their individual quality.’
A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.
This combination of experience and diligence reaps massive rewards for clients, Osbornes being well known in the industry as a fantastic firm.
The Osbornes personal injury team now comprises some of the most technically adept and hard hitting lawyers in the business.
Ben Posford is one of London’s best catastrophic injury lawyers, in my view. He is a real brain injury specialist.
Excellent coverage of personal injury, and traumatic brain injury. There is a real specialism in claimants who do not speak English as a first language.
The group is noted for its expertise in matters relating to cycling injuries, and is the official legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign charity.
To complement its strong reputation for high-value and complex personal injury work, the firm continues to develop its 'excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants'
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"superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."
Osbornes now has a team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers; particularly strong on high-value quantum cases, workplace accidents and claims involving foreign workers injured in the UK.
The team provides fantastic strength-in-depth for personal injury claims. It is also particularly well placed to service clients from Eastern Europe with specialist native language speakers. From the smallest case to a multimillion-pound spinal injury case, Osbornes has the right staff to manage every claim.
Ben Posford remains pre-eminent in his field with expert understanding of litigating cases of the upmost severity. His experience builds on Stuart Kightley’s running of the firm with recent partner additions of Rob Aylott making a fantastic addition.
A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.
Beneath Ben Posford’s calm and reassuring presence, which clients love, lies a formidable tactical and legal brain. His experience tells and he gets it right at every stage of the process from arranging the best possible rehabilitation, to ensuring, so far as possible, a polite relationship with those acting for the defendant in order to ensure best and early resolution of the claim.
"Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."
"They have an expanding profile in personal injury and clinical negligence and offer a superb, broad service in accidents abroad, enabled by their recruitment of bilingual legal executives who can guide non-English speakers through complex litigation."
"Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."
"Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."
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"Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."
"Stuart is also very experienced in advising on fatal accidents and workplace accidents."
Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.
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Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.
I will use Osbornes for any future needs.
I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.
Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.
Head of the personal injury department, Stuart Kightley is a first-rate practitioner, wholly focused on getting his client the best outcome in a pragmatic, sensible and consensual manner.
As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.
Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.
They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous
Stuart Kightley is praised for his expertise in catastrophic and fatal claims. Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team.
My claim was dealt with efficiently and professionally. Communication was excellent, and timely. Shrewd and sound advice was provided at every stage of the claim from beginning through to completion. On the basis of my personal experience I would strongly recommend Osbornes.
I just wish to thank you for your hard work and successful outcome. I am pleased with the result and would recommend you and your firm to anyone in the future.
Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.
Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.
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