“Barista Wrist” And Other Injuries Keep Restaurant Workers Sidelined

“Barista Wrist” And Other Injuries Keep Restaurant Workers SidelinedAs with many other industries, the restaurant industry sees its fair share of on-the-job injuries. On average, restaurant employees are absent from work for about 30 days due to various types of injuries. In particular, those employed in coffee shops are highly susceptible to wrist injuries. Referred to as Barista Wrist, this injury can put coffee and café workers out of commission for over a year.

Barista Wrist isn’t any one specific injury. It’s the name for any given repetitive stress injury related to the work a barista does: carrying heavy milk jugs, holding a serving tray, repeatedly pressing down on a bean press or espresso machine, etc. Barista Wrist can include torn ligaments, nerve damage, joint pain, cartilage damage, muscle tears  – in short, any type of wear and tear, or acute injury, that leaves a worker in chronic pain, or with long-term problems.

Common restaurant injuries, days off, and paid losses in recent years

In December 2018, AmTrust published its first ever “AmTrust Restaurant Risk Report.” The report contains enlightening data on more than 84,000 workers’ compensation claims over the five-year period of 2013 to 2017 by restaurant clients of the company with loss payments.

Restaurants of various types are the scene of a wide range of worker injuries. These injuries result in lost time ranging from a few days to over one year.

Other takeaways from the report include:

  • The highest amount of lost time occurred in coffee shops and cafés – 45 percent more on average than all other types of restaurants
  • Wrist injuries pose the greatest risk for coffee shop and café workers – “Barista Wrist” led to 366 days off from work on average
  • Slips and falls accounted for $198.4 million in paid claims,
  • Strains come in second behind slips and falls for paid losses at $124.1 million
  • Restaurant injuries caused an average amount of lost time of less than 4 days to almost 2 months
  • The months of June, July, and August see the highest reported number of restaurant workers’ comp accidents, corresponding with the doubling of the restaurant industry workforce between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

According to Matt Zender, Senior Vice President and Workers’ Compensation Product Manager for AmTrust, “Our data supports the increasingly accepted belief that the repetitive stress injury known as ‘Barista Wrist’ is a very real condition as wrist injuries accounted for the most days of work missed.”

If an injury at work has left you wondering about your options, our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC are here to help. We have the experience and resources to investigate your case properly and help you secure the compensation you are owed. To arrange a free consultation about your case, please call us today at 704-377-7777 or use our contact form to send us a message.


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