Bartenders, like other workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries, can sustain a wide range of on-the-job injuries. Although bartenders are not at frequent risk of the types of injuries that workers in agriculture or construction sustain on a somewhat regular basis, they can still sustain injuries that range from repetitive motion or overuse injuries to traumatic injuries in accidents. For bartenders, work-related injuries can range significantly in terms of their severity. In some cases, an injury may be so minor that a bartender can return to work the following day or for the next shift, while other injuries can make it impossible to return to work for an extended period of time. If you sustained an injury while bartending, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits that can pay for your medical care and that can compensate you for your lost wages. One of our experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can say more.
Common Injuries Among South Florida Bartenders
Bartenders perform a range of tasks at work, and some of the specific roles played by a bartender will depend upon the type of establishment where the bartender is working. Some bartenders serve drinks at larger and upscale restaurants, while others work solely at bars where limited food is served. Sometimes bartenders work for catering companies, and do travel bartending work in that capacity. At work, bartenders often suffer injuries that can include:
- Injuries caused by slips and falls or trips and falls, which may include sprains or strains, back injuries, bone fractures, or traumatic brain injuries;
- Injuries caused by handling kitchenware for making cocktails, including knives and slicers, which can result in significant cuts and lacerations;
- Injuries caused by handling broken glassware, such as cuts and lacerations;
- Injuries caused by repetitive hand motions in making drinks, including carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis;
- Injuries caused by handling hot liquids and cleaning equipment, such as burns or skin conditions; and
- Injuries caused by heavy lifting of kegs or bar products, such as back injuries or neck injuries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bartenders can also sustain injuries from assaults involving intoxicated or irate customers, particularly when bartenders refuse to serve another drink due to the customer’s level of intoxication. Indeed, monitoring customers for intoxication is one of the tasks a bartender must fulfill, and in some cases, it can be dangerous. Bartenders who work for caterers also may need to transport barware and other materials to job sites, and those bartenders can sometimes sustain injuries in motor vehicle collisions.
How Bartenders Can Seek Compensation for Workplace Injuries
For most types of bartender injuries that occur on the job, it is important for the bartender to know that they may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Given that customers sometimes buy drinks for bartenders, it is critical for bartenders to know that Florida law limits an employee’s ability to obtain workers’ compensation coverage if they were intoxicated at the time of the injury. Accordingly, it is important for bartenders to carefully consider any drinking on the job that could bar them from workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury.
Contact a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
One of the experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can help you to seek compensation for your workplace injuries.