If a catering injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Injuries within the catering industry, from burns to cuts or falls, can result in claims for medical bills, lost earnings, and potential affects on an individual's career, especially when such injuries result from poor safety practices or employer negligence.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a catering accident, we can help. If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

In this article

    You are not alone

    The catering industry, encompassing kitchens, restaurants, cafeterias, bars, and canteens, is inherently risky for workers. Daily activities involve handling hot food and beverages, using sharp tools like knives, and operating potentially hazardous equipment such as ovens and hobs.

    The accommodation and food service industry is the third most dangerous working environment after farming and construction. In the 2022/23 period, there were 2,500 non-fatal reported injuries per 100,000 workers (hse.gov.uk).

    Manual handling injuries, such as back injuries, account for over 30% of food and drink industry injuries reported to HSE, representing around 1,700 acute injuries per year.

    It is easy to see how health and safety failures in the catering environment can lead to injury.

    Am I entitled to make a catering injury claim?

    If you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.

    Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

    Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?

    Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.

    Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.

    You could still have a valid claim if you were partly to blame for your injury. Employers may be also be held responsible under vicarious liability for injuries caused by employees, making a claim possible if you or a colleague caused your injury or illness.

    Read more:

    Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

    How much compensation can I claim for a catering injury?

    The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

    • the seriousness of your injury, and
    • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

    At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

    Catering injury compensation calculator

    Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

    Updated December 2023 Compensation Calculator v3.04

    General damages

    General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

    Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

    How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

    Special damages

    Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your catering injury. Compensation can include lost earnings, damage to clothing, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.

    These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as burn care, wound care and pain medication.

    Read more:

    A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

    Psychological harm and accidents in the workplace

    If you have suffered psychological harm as a result of an accident at work, you are not alone.

    Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey shows how prevalent psychological injuries are in the workplace. 25.03% of claimants report suffering a psychological injury, 62.38% of which were related to a physical injury.

    A catering injury, often occurring in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, can lead to anxiety and stress disorders, impacting mental health long after physical recovery.

    Psychiatric injuries can negatively affect your physical recovery and hinder your return to work. Fearing stigma or a disregard of their mental health issues, some employees are reluctant to voice their concerns.

    Diagnosable psychiatric injuries, such as PTSD, are recognised in the guidelines for calculating compensation. The cost of treatment and support for these injuries should be included in your compensation award or settlement.

    Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

    Who can make a catering accident claim?

    Any person who works in the catering industry and has suffered an injury as a result of someone else's negligence may be able to make a claim. Chefs, cooks, waiters, bartenders, assistants, and any other staff members can make a claim for an injury that happened at work in the catering industry.

    Common kitchen hazards

    • Hot surfaces
    • Hot food and drinks
    • Boiling water, oil and other liquids
    • Trip and slip hazards like wet floors and poor storage
    • Potentially hazardous machinery like slicers, blenders and naked flame hobs

    Common injuries suffered by catering staff

    Who can make a claim?

    If you have suffered an injury while working in the catering industry, you may have a case for a compensation claim if you can prove that the accident was a result of someone else's negligence.

    While it is difficult to completely eliminate risks in the catering industry, the employer has a duty of care to ensure that all risks are minimised as far as possible. The employer can do this in a number of ways:

    1. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons and heat-proof gloves.
    2. Training employees on the correct and safe usage of dangerous tools such as slicers.
    3. Ensuring that all floor surfaces are kept clean and clear, and that all spillages are cleared as soon as they are spotted.
    4. Training staff on the correct way to lift and carry heavy objects to avoid back injuries.

    If you believe that your employer has failed to ensure any of the above, which resulted in an injury, you may have negligence case against them. Your claim will be examined to assess how much compensation you are entitled to.

    The amount of compensation awarded will be determined by taking into account factors such as: the pain caused at the time of the injury; the time taken for the injury to heal; the impact the injury has on quality of life; and any financial losses incurred as a result of being incapacitated.

    Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

    The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.

    This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

    Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

    If you are injured in a catering accident, and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are a temp or self-employed.

    What happened?

    The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your catering injury occurred. Click the icons below for more information:

    Injury FAQs

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    No win, no fee catering injury compensation claims

    With no win, no fee, you can claim catering injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

    Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

    How we can help you with your work accident claim

    Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.

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    If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee work accident claim, we are open:

    Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

    Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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