Thursday, February 21, 2013

Physical Akes and Pains of Serving Food and Beverage


It stands to reason that every job has is limits. Time is the tester. Working a physically repetitive job will in time cause a repetitive injury. It is common in all industries from office work to the automotive assembly line. After the industrial revolution, working jobs were more specific and more repetitive. Skills were downgraded so as to train employees to work and manage simple repetitive work. The production line would be composed of many labours each with a specific task of labour on the product being manufactured. These employee injuries from these simple common tasks are called Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSD.

This kind of injury can happen in the Food and Beverage Industry. Many servers who have put in the time and worked for many years have developed these repetitive injuries. The most common is the wrist with carpal tunnel syndrome. The next would be rotator cuff injuries from heavy plates. Standing up and walking over different surfaces can also cause varicose veins in the legs. Repetitive pushing of a swing door with your leg while caring plates can cause a hernia. Knee pain from rapid starts and stops stresses the joints. Tendinitis can occur from heavy plates stressing the elbow. There can be back pain from adjusting your center of gravity and reaching far into table to serve. This is a long list of potential physical injuries. If you have any of them, you need help and maybe even physical therapy to get your heath back.

In Ontario the WSIB Ontario, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board will pay for your therapy if you were injured in the work place. You need to see a doctor and mention that the injury occurred from repetitive work at your job. The doctor will issue a form 8 and send it to WSIB. WSIB will assess the injuries. If there is merit to your case then WSIB will send you confirmation of acceptable injury and allow direct payments to the physio therapy treatment center. Not all injuries will be accepted. Varicose veins are the hardest to prove and it can be considered cosmetic surgery. The ultimate knowledge about work place injuries is to know how injuries can happen and how to prevent them. Learning about potential risk and then organizing systems for prevention is the goal for work safety.

Serving has its ups and downs. All serves start out young and after at least 10 years the body shows the wear and tear of the job. This is why it is important to know about prevention of these injuries.

The Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario have issued guidelines for the Prevention of MSD. This will open your eyes to these work related injuries. This is a 36 page PDF document. You can learn from it to implement Health and Safety in your work place. Here there is A Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Every worker has the right to a safe work environment. Serving food and beverage is a physical job and has much demand on the body. Know the potential injury risk of your job and your chances of getting injured will be low.

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