The drive-thru area of a restaurant gives young workers the opportunity for direct contact with the public while also learning food service and money handling skills. However, they may also be exposed to the following hazards:
This module will take a closer look at all of these hazards, plus some possible solutions to stay safe.
Restaurant workers may be exposed to noise, especially while working in the drive-thru area. Young workers often wear headsets to hear orders when working at drive-up windows. Young workers may potentially be exposed to loud headset background noise while wearing headsets.
There are several things workers can do help reduce the level of noise in a drive-thru. Here are a few suggestions:
Employers can implement safe work practices to help prevent noise exposure, such as:
Employees can be exposed to sprains and strains from tasks that require repetitive motions, such as excessive reaching, lifting, and leaning out of drive-thru windows to hand customers their orders.
Here are some ways to help decrease the likelihood of sprains and strains:
Employers can do the following safe work practices to help prevent injuries:
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can range from threats, and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicides from behaviors either initiated by customers, other employees, and employers.
Many workplaces, like restaurants, can be a target for workplace violence because of the presence of cash, late work hours, and contact with the public. Young workers may also be exposed to workplace violence in restaurant drive-thru windows. In addition, sometimes the drive-thru is located in a structure removed from the main restaurant, isolating the teen from the support of fellow workers.
Here are some possible solutions to help decrease the likelihood of workplace violence in a restaurant:
There are several safe work practices your employer can do to protect you. Here are a few things:
Employees can be exposed to prolonged standing while working the drive-thru window. This can cause stress and strain to the workers’ back and legs.
To relieve stress and strain to workers’ backs and legs, try the following things:
Employers should consider implementing recommended safe work practices, including:
Employees may be exposed to high levels of car exhaust in a drive-thru. Automobile exhaust contains harmful pollutants, mainly carbon monoxide which decreases the ability of the blood to absorb oxygen in the lungs. Inhaling high levels and concentrations of carbon monoxide can lead to poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause the following symptoms:
Here is a possible solution to decrease the exposure to car exhaust:
Employers should consider implementing safe work practices, including:
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