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The risk of barista wrist is real

Workers in the foodservice industry are the fourth largest recipients of workers’ compensation insurance and injured workers miss an average of 30 days from work, according to the 2018 Restaurant Risk Report from AmTrust Financial, a property and casualty insurance company.

The report, which analyzed thousands of insights from 2013 through 2017, found that although the most common injuries were cuts and punctures from sharp objects (which accounted for a third of all claims), injuries from falls and slips were 4.5 times more expensive, accounting for about $198.4 million in claims paid.

One of the most costly, in terms of lost time, is a repetitive motion injury colloquially known as “barista wrist,” which is particularly worrisome for employees at coffee shops. Barista-wrist sufferers took an average of 366 days to return to work. 

“Most of the national chains have already installed automatic tampers or alternatively-designed tampers in order to help reduce muscle soreness and other injuries,” said Matt Zender, senior vice president at AmTrust. “Local chains should look into these as well.”

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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