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By its very nature, the catering industry has many potential risks; the use of sharp knives, extremes of temperature, dangerous working environments and the chemicals and procedures in employees’ daily roles all make catering a potentially dangerous industry in which to work. It is only by implementing strategies of risk management and health and safety management that make it as safe as it can be.

Slips and trips

All employers must ensure that their employees, and anyone else who could be affected by the work (visitors, members of the public etc) are kept safe from harm. This involves ensuring that any spillages, leaks or trip hazards are clearly signed and dealt with as swiftly as possible.


Knife injuries are common in the catering industry, but can be minimised by ensuring all employees are properly trained on how to use knives, to ensure they use the correct equipment for each job, to keep them sharp, to use them in suitable conditions, and to handle, store and carry them safely.

Extreme temperatures

Employees should always be properly equipped and trained to deal with extremes in temperature; whether that be handling very hot pans, using very hot hobs and ovens, or dealing with freezers and refrigerated areas.

Musculoskeletal disorders

In addition to the health and safety management regulations, employers have a responsibility to avoid the need for hazardous manual handling so far as is reasonably practicable. Repetitive tasks within the catering industry can cause back pain and upper limb disorders, but these can be minimised by suitable assessment of working practice and implementation of alternative techniques.


Due to the high volume of cleaning within catering, many employees are exposed to chemicals that can cause adverse reaction to the skin. Employers have a responsibility to provide suitable personal protective equipment and procedures that minimise dangerous exposure.

Have you been injured at work?

If you work, or worked in catering, and you have been affected by an injury caused within your workplace, you might be entitled to claim for compensation. It could have been a serious injury from a slip or trip that was not clearly signed or dealt with appropriately, or you might have developed a musculoskeletal or upper limb disorder from years of performing the same task within your role. Whatever the cause, you should contact one of our solicitors today. They can talk you through the claims process, free of charge, and see if you have a claim to make.