As a barista, you are at the forefront of the booming cafe industry. You face a lot of pressure and high demands to create quality beverages in a fast-paced environment. As you work in a busy and small environment, you may suffer workplace injuries.
You may not think that working in a coffee shop is dangerous, but it can be. Take a look at some common hazards facing baristas.
1. Repetitive stress injuries
Working in a coffee shop often involves repetitive movements, awkward positions and overexertion. Common injuries among baristas include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Medial epicondylitis (elbow injury)
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder damage
Tamping espresso, turning knobs, pushing cards and lifting jugs of milk are just some of the tasks that can cause these musculoskeletal issues. Taking breaks, switching tasks, stretching and improving the ergonomics of the workstation can help you prevent repetitive stress injuries.
2. Burns and scalds
You are responsible for handling hot food and beverages all the time. Hot coffee, tea, appliances and water can all result in burn injuries. Proper training and safe handling techniques can reduce the risk of burns.
3. Slips, trips and falls
The area behind the counter can easily be full of messes and clutter. Liquid spills and mopping can cause you to slip. Boxes, cartons and other items on the floor can result in you tripping. Keeping the area clean and clear can prevent fall accidents from occurring. There should also be non-slip mats on the floor.
4. Hearing loss
Another potential danger that may not be obvious is loud noise. Coffee shops are often loud because of blenders and grinders. Insulating these machines can help you from losing your hearing.
5. Eye injuries
If coffee or another liquid splashes into your eye, you may suffer long-term damage. Sanitizing chemicals for cleaning can also irritate and damage your eyes.
A coffee shop may not be as hazardous as a construction site, but it is still possible to get hurt.