Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
Delivery Worker - Strains and Sprains / Freezers
Delivery Worker - Slips/Trips/Falls / Heat and Cold Exposure
Delivery/Storage

The Delivery area of a restaurant offers young workers an opportunity for developing skills in communication, material handling, and inventory control. Young workers in this area may also be exposed to the following hazards: 
 
 
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Safety Poster

Strains and Sprains
Potential Hazard

Twisting while lifting
No Operators under 18 years old Remember: Child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 18 to operate forklifts or workers younger than 16 to load or unload goods on or off trucks, railcars, or conveyors.

Workers can injure themselves during reaching and lifting of heavy loads while unloading and stacking supplies for restaurants. The risk of injury increase if done in awkward postures.



Possible Solutions


Young Worker Solutions
Employers have the primary responsibility for protecting the safety and health of their workers. Employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers. 

Shelves of stacked materials

Hand cart

A palletizer on a pallet jack lifts the load to a convenient level
A palletizer on a pallet jack lifts the
load to a convenient level


Lift with your legs
Lift with your legs
Don't lift with your back.
Don't lift with your back

Avoid lifting while twisting
Avoid lifting while twisting
  • Stack heavier items on lower shelves.

  • Store lighter goods on the top shelves.  

  • Stack items used most frequently at a convenient waist level. 

  • Get help lifting heavy items. 

  • Use a stool or ladder to access items on shelves. Do not stand on chairs or boxes that might tip over. 

  • Lighten the load to be lifted by encouraging employer to purchase smaller and therefore lighter cartons of stock.
    • Use proper lifting techniques when performing manual lifts to minimize the risk to the back. However, a heavy load (35 pounds or more for young workers) can cause injury even with perfect technique. Do not manually lift heavy loads alone; get help.

  • Use handrails if traveling on stairs, avoid undue speed, and carry only items that you can safely see over.
    • Limit lifting by hand. Use hand carts when moving products. Have employees 18 or older use any available mechanical equipment such as lift assist devices, forklifts, and pallet jacks to help with lifting and transporting products.

Use proper lifting techniques. Learn to lift properly and stay fit to help reduce the risk of injury from lifting.
  • Before lifting, size up the load:
     
    • Wear gloves to prevent exposure to nails and slivers.
    • Use a hand cart if possible.
    • Get help with heavy loads.
    • See that the load is balanced and stable.
    • Do not lift a load that is too heavy, slippery, hot, or unevenly balanced.
    • Make sure you have a clear traveling path. 
  • Lifting:
     
    • Bring the load as close to you as possible before lifting. Avoid reaching across something to lift a load. This moves the load away from the body and increases your chance of injury.
    • Lift with your legs, not your back.
    • Keep your head up, your back straight, and bend at your hips.
    • Shift your feet to turn; don't twist your body.
    • Keep the load directly in front of your body. Avoid reaching to the side and lifting while twisting.
    • Perform lifts at waist height, with the elbows in close to the body.
    • Avoid awkward postures while lifting such as reaching and twisting, or lateral or side bending.
  • Lowering:

    • Remember that body position when setting the load down is just as important as when picking the load up. Use your leg muscles to comfortably lower the load by bending your knees.
    • Make certain that your fingers and toes are clear before setting the load down.
Employer Solutions
Employers have the primary responsibility for protecting the safety and health of their workers. Employees are responsible for following the safe work practices of their employers. 

Follow the child labor laws that do not permit workers: Book For more information, see Resources - Child Labor Laws.

Additional Resources:
  • Work Practice. OSHA's Grocery Warehousing eTool. Bad habits to avoid while lifting or transferring products.

  • Ergonomics. OSHA Saftey and Health Topics Page.

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