Working at a quick-serve restaurant can be physically and emotionally demanding. Compared to other industries, occupational injury risk is high.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that workers in food services had higher rates of injuries like sprains, strains, tears, cuts, lacerations, punctures and thermal burns, compared to all workers.

While physical injuries may be common in the quick-serve industry, your employees’ mental health can be affected as well.

Workplace Injuries and Mental Health

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When someone gets hurt on the job, workers’ compensation coverage is often adept at delivering timely coverage. However, in today’s world, a comprehensive approach to your employees’ health is crucial.

Studies have shown that adults who experience traumatic physical injury can experience a range of mental health problems like anxiety, depression and more.

There are many reasons employees may experience depression after an injury, including:

  • Social isolation
  • Challenges performing everyday tasks
  • Anxiety over losing future earning potential
  • Financial stress
  • Chronic pain and more

While you may consider an employees’ physical needs a priority in a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to address the mental and emotional components, too.

Supporting Your Employees’ Mental Health

As a business owner, you can provide personal support to your staff in simple ways:

  • Add some personal touch to professional relationships. Though work is always busy, it is important to keep up with your employees. Demonstrate you care by communicating beyond the necessities of work tasks. Ask your employees how their family members are doing, things they’re looking forward to, interests outside of work and more. Showing interest in your employees’ personal lives can remind them how much you value them as a person and employee.
  • Minimize work-related frustrations. Do what you can to provide training, good equipment and a strong commitment to support their efforts as they support your business. While all work-related frustrations cannot be eliminated, if you can help with any, do so.
  • Don’t ignore mental health. Talk about employee stressors and their impact. Encourage self-care, therapy, healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Offer an employee assistance program and make sure employees know it’s available.
  • Implement a strong return-to-work program. Bringing employees back to work reassures them of their future employment and makes them feel productive.

Be sure to manage the expectations of supervisors and coworkers so the injured employees don’t feel guilty that they can’t work at full capacity.

Supporting Your Employees through Workplace Injuries and Mental Health Challenges

Supporting your employees’ physical and mental health after an injury can make all the difference in their recovery.

For more information on workers’ compensation coverage for your quick-serve restaurant, contact Lockton Affinity, administrator of the Smoothie King Insurance Program.