Restaurant Accident/Illness Claim *
In Ireland, a large percentage of the population dine out at least once a week. When we visit a restaurant we expect it to be a risk-free and safe environment but this is not always the case. Due to the busy environment of a restaurant, accidents can be quite common and can range from dropping plates and cutlery to accidents * caused by faulty equipment or furniture. The most common type of restaurant accidents * are slip and fall accidents * which can happen both customers and employees.
Restaurant owners and managers should have a duty of care to both staff and customers to ensure that their health and safety is a priority. A breach of this responsibility can lead to accident and injury * which can create long-term problems in some cases. It is their duty to ensure that they are not exposed to risks and hazards. Occupiers’ negligence is the main cause of restaurant accidents and illness as they have failed to adhere to the regulations and duties which should have been followed. Reasonable steps need to be taken to ensure that all hazards are identified and eliminated as soon as possible. If it is the case that an accident has occurred as a result of occupiers’ negligence then you may be entitled to make a claim.
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995
This Act states that an occupier of a premises owes a reasonable level of duty of care towards a visitor. They should ensure the safety of all visitors and take certain steps to ensure that there are no potential risks of accident, injuries or illness on their premises. Restaurant owners should carry out frequent risk assessments so as to identify any potential hazards in the building. These should then be eliminated. It is also important to ensure that all equipment, machinery and furniture are of a high standard and this should be replaced regularly due to wear and tear over time.
- Breaks and fractures
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head and brain injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Kitchen injuries caused by high temperatures and sharp utensils
- Food Poisoning
Common Causes of Accidents
Common causes range from restaurant owners negligence to staff negligence as well as faulty or poorly maintained furniture, facilities or building. Some of the most common complaints are:
- Wet floors – it is imperative that spillages are cleaned up immediately from the floors and wet floor signs are put in place to help prevent people from falling. In events where a spillage was not cleaned up, or a wet floor sign was not in place whilst or just after cleaning a spillage, the restaurant could be seen to be liable for the accident *. Toilet areas can be particularly dangerous if they are tiled and the tiles become wet. If not cleaned or a wet floor sign not in place, people may fall and injure themselves.
- Trip and Fall – tripping and falling accidents * are common in cases where a restaurant has poor lighting, uneven floors or badly maintain walkways. In some cases, a staff member may leave an object out on the floor which would act as an obstruction to a person’s pathway causing them to trip and fall.
- Broken glass
- Faulty furniture
- Broken Chair
- Defective equipment
- Spillages of hot food and drinks
- Inadequate lighting
- Uncooked food
- Excessive noise
- Lack of training
- Obstructions in walkways
- Exposure to harmful chemicals and substances
Food Poisoning *
Restaurants must serve food at a certain standard, one that is prepared in the correct manner, stored in the correct manner and fit for human consumption. There are basic hygiene requirements that are expected of a restaurant when these basic requirements are not met, this can affect the customers eating the food.
Cross contamination is a common cause of food poisoning, whereby raw meat is stored with cooked food. In these situations, bacteria from the raw meat can contaminate the cooked food, which can lead to food poisoning.
Food Poisoning * is a common illness which is caused by eating contaminated foods. Also known as foodborne illness, it can have serious consequences as it weakens the general health of a person, especially is symptoms persist.
Common causes are:
- Unhygienic kitchen facilities
- Kitchen equipment that is not cleaned properly or regularly
- Untrained kitchen staff
- Inexperienced staff handling food
There are certain steps which can be ten to help reduce the risk of restaurant accidents and illness. Owners and occupiers of a restaurant should ensure that there are no potential hazards in place which could lead to accident and injury. It is important that precautions are taken in order ensure the health and safety of all staff and visitors.
If employees are trained to a high standard it will reduce the risk of accidents and illnesses to customers. Employees will be trained on how to correctly carry out their job and will know what to do if an accident does occur. When staff are correctly trained it can greatly reduce the risk of accident and injury to both staff and employees.
It is very important that frequent risk assessments are carried out so that potential risks can be identified and eliminated. It is important the restaurant manager is aware of the potential hazards which are found in the premises. This can help to reduce the chances of injuries being sustained. A report should then be written up to keep on record so it can be revised in the future. This can also be helpful to determine how often certain machinery and equipment should be replaced.
Health and Safety Guidelines
Each restaurant should have their own set of health and safety regulations. All employees should then be made aware of these regulations as this will help to prevent accidents. This can also help avoid the development of illness such as food poisoning as there will be procedures in place to deal with this.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, you can contact our accident solicitors * on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your case and for a confidential discussion.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.