Top causes of injury
in food service:

  1. Struck by object
  2. Fall on same level
  3. Overexertion/bodily reaction
  4. Exposure to harmful substances or environments
  5. Struck against object

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers in the food service industry experienced 56,060 nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work in 2013. Common hazards include sharp knives in kitchens; burns from stoves, ovens, and fryers; and slips, trips, and falls. In addition, waitstaff may experience overexertion injuries from carrying heavy trays and standing throughout a long work shift.

The food service industry has one of the lowest median ages of all industries classified by the BLS. With 17 percent of the food service workforce between ages 16 and 19, and an additional 24 percent between ages 20 and 24, employers in the food service industry need to ensure that young workers are properly trained and legally allowed to perform all tasks they are asked to complete.

The most common OSHA violations in food service establishments include hazard communication, personal protective equipment, electrical safety, medical services and first aid, exit routes, portable fire extinguishers, and walking and working surfaces.

  • Compliance Requirements
  • Training
  • Time Savers
  • Best Practices
Related Topics


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Hand Protection 10/30/1978 - STD 01-06-001 - Application of 29 CFR 1910.132(a) to the Retail Food Industry 07/08/2003National
First Aid Automated External Defibrillator Policy and Protocol  National
Back Safety Back Safety (PPT)  National
First Aid Basic First Aid for Medical Emergencies (PPT)  National
Bloodborne Pathogens Communicable Diseases  National
Specific Industries Easy Do's and Don'ts - General Safety Poster - Teen Restaurant Safety (OSHA, HTML)  National
Safety - General Easy Do's and Don'ts - Resources Poster - Teen Restaurant Safety (OSHA, HTML)  National
Electrical Safety Electrical Safe Work Practices Checklist  National
Electrical Safety Electrical Safety (Word)  National
Electrical Safety Electrical Safety - Unqualified Person (PPT)  National
Electrical Safety Electrical Safety Plan  National
Electrical Safety Electrical Safety--General (PDF)  National
Violence in the Workplace Emergency Contact Information  National
Exit Routes Emergency Evacuation Plan  National
Ergonomics Ergonomics  National
Ergonomics Ergonomics - Industrial (PPT)  National
Ergonomics Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores  National
Exit Routes Exit Route Design (Word)  National
Exit Routes Exit Routes (Word)  National
Exit Routes Exit Routes - Supervisors (PPT)  National
Fire Extinguishers Fire Extinguishers (PPT)  National
Fire Extinguishers Fire Extinguishers (Word)  National
Fire Extinguishers Fire Extinguishers: Types and Uses (PDF) [7-Minute Safety Trainer] (short outline)  National
Fire Prevention Fire Prevention  National
Fire Prevention Fire Prevention Plan  National
Fire Prevention Fire Protection (Word)  National
First Aid First Aid (PDF)  National
First Aid First Aid and Medical Services (Word)  National
First Aid First Aid: Illness (Word)  National
First Aid First Aid: Injury (Word)  National
Ergonomics First Report of Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms  National
First Aid First-Aid Incident Report  National
First Aid First-Aid Log  National
First Aid First-Aid Plan for General Industry  National
Specific Industries Food Safety in the Workplace (Word)  National
Specific Industries Food Service Safety (PPT)  National
Specific Industries Food Service Safety (Word)  National
Specific Industries Food Service Safety (Word)  National
Forklifts Forklift & Pedestrian Safety (outline)  National
Forklifts Forklift & Pedestrian Safety [7-Minute Safety Trainer]  National
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