The service industry encompasses a wide array of professions, all integral to maintaining the fabric of daily life – from restaurant servers and janitors to retail workers and hair stylists. Though these positions might seem drastically different, they share common ground in their physically demanding natures as well as constant face-to-face dealings with clients or customers.
The strenuous physical tasks combined with the intense psychological pressure makes workplace injuries within this sector more common than you might think. The following are some of the most common types of injuries faced in this sector:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Whether due to wet surfaces or cluttered pathways, slipping, tripping, and falling are quite common in the service industry – particularly in fast-paced environments like restaurants. These incidents can range from causing minor sprains to severe fractures or even head injuries.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)
With roles that involve repeated motions – like stirring, carrying trays, or sweeping – service industry workers can develop a repetitive strain injury. These are conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis that occur from performing the same action again and again over time.
Cuts and Lacerations
For those working in kitchens or certain types of maintenance, where the usage of sharp tools is common, there’s always risk of getting cuts and lacerations. Unintentional contact with these sharp objects can quickly lead to cuts and even severe injuries depending on the depth and location.
Those who work in commercial kitchen settings are particularly prone to risks involving burns due to constant exposure to fire sources such as stoves or grills. Additionally, certain sectors might use dangerous chemicals, where chemical burns pose notable threats too.
Lifting heavy objects is a part of many service industry jobs, from pallets in retail stores to moving equipment in janitorial services. Incomplete training or lack of safety regulation often results in injuries like strains and hernias.
The high-pressure nature of many service industry jobs can lead to chronic stress, which takes both a psychological and physical toll over time. This could contribute towards emotional exhaustion (burnout), increased risk of cardiovascular problems, and disrupted sleep patterns.
If you’re working in the service industry and have experienced these or similar injuries while on duty, don’t hesitate to take action by reaching out to an experienced attorney.
When To Seek Legal Help For a Workplace Injury
Deciding when to seek help from a lawyer after suffering an injury in the service industry might feel confusing, but taking this step doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Here are some circumstances under which consulting with a lawyer is essential:
Difficulty Filing or Proceeding with a Claim
If you’re struggling through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim due to confusion over requirements or deadlines, it’s advisable to get a lawyer involved.
From getting denied necessary medical treatment by insurance companies or receiving insufficient compensation that does not cover sustained losses, refusals on claims demand immediate attention from an experienced lawyer.
Potential for Third-Party Claims
There may be situations where liability lies with a third-party – like equipment manufacturers. In these cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them as well as filing for workers’ compensation. A lawyer from Lightfoot Law can help you make this determination.
If you’re not receiving your workers’ compensation benefits in a timely manner, it’s time to seek legal advice. Missing or late payments adds additional financial stress and can complicate your recovery process.
Ultimately, it’s always wise to at least schedule a consultation with a Washington, D.C. workers’ compensation lawyer. Almost all lawyers offer free consultations so you have nothing to lose. For help, contact us today to schedule your consultation.