The Chicago Occupational Accident Attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Represent Injured McDonalds Workers
The workforce to fast food restaurants in the Chicago metropolitan area, including at McDonald's, consists mainly of first-time employees, mainly teenagers. These workers wear various hats on the job including cooking, stock management, cashiering, order taking, janitorial work, and others. McDonald's restaurants served in nearly identical menu worldwide with known staples including hamburgers, French fries, fried chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, salads, shakes, ice cream sundaes, and a plethora of beverages, including sodas.
Most workers are responsible for preparing the food and serving the customer from numerous areas in the facility including behind the cash register, at the drive-through window, in the kitchen, and in the storage areas, including the walking freezer and cooler. Most of these jobs are entry-level positions and pay at or slightly above the minimum wage. Employees are required to have a basic comprehension of mathematics and experience in taking the consumer's money and making change. Nearly all employees will receive on-the-job training overseen by the supervisor, manager or employer. In time, entry-level employees are offered supervisor and management positions that slightly more.
McDonald's Workers Hazards
Data provided by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reveals that there are nearly 28,000 workers in the fast food industry who visit the emergency room annually due to a work-related injury. In fact, the number of accidents that occurred fast food restaurants a staggering, typically because the worker is young, inexperienced, and lacks sufficient training to do their job safely.
Teenagers working in the fast food industry represent 63% of 45,000 teens injured at their job every year. Oddly, percentage-wise, most injured fast food workers are holding jobs in restaurants serving hamburgers. Those making and delivering pizzas followed closely behind hamburger joints, then Mexican restaurants, and finally fast food companies with a mainly chicken meat menu.
Teenagers are more likely to suffer burn injuries at a McDonald's. Their increased risk is high because safety rules are often ignored, or those teens who are more comfortable doing their job are more susceptible to taking a shortcut. While the manager or supervisor treat many of the employees' burn injuries during the work shift, these wounds tend to become infected due to insufficient care.
Supervisors and managers are required to provide every employee on-the-job training to minimize the potential for injuries caused by negligence or inexperience. This education can help minimize many serious hazards that occur in the job environment including cuts, lacerations, falls, slips burns and being hit by falling objects. In detail, the most common McDonald's workers hazards include:
- Burns – McDonald's workers are susceptible to burns and stalls caused by intensive heat from the stove top, fryer, hot water, and other equipment. OSHA data reveals that there are nearly 12,000 incidents every year involving severe burns reported to the federal agency occurring at fast food restaurants.
- Electrical Burn – Contact electricity through worn electrical wires, faulty appliances, or damaged receptacles could produce an electrical burn, shocker electrocution that harms or kills the unsuspecting employee.
- Lacerations and Puncture Wounds – Broken glass, and exposure to knives and slicers and McDonald's can increase the potential of suffering serious lacerations and puncture wounds. Without immediate treatment, the worker can easily develop a serious infection at the wound site and in the bloodstream (sepsis).
- Sprains and Strains – Workers in fast restaurants are often required to reach high off ladders to grab items stocked on overhead storage shelves near the ceiling. Any awkward lift, bend, reach, or twist can cause severe strains and ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the arms, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, ankles, and fingers.
- Lower Back Pain – Workers at fast food restaurants required to lift heavy items including filled buckets and boxes. These actions are typically done in a hurry when the employees realize they are out of stock on cups, food, and other products during the busiest hours of the day. Without proper treatment, and insignificant strain or sprain in the back can exacerbate to a lifelong chronic problem.
- Exposure to Toxic Fumes – Workers can be exposed to toxic fumes without proper ventilation in the fast food kitchen. Exposure to toxins can also occur at the drive-through window when a stream of idling cars and trucks produce noxious levels of carbon monoxide.
- High-Level Noise – Loud equipment, idling trucks, and traffic passing by the McDonald's restaurant can produce excessive levels of noise that could harm the employee's hearing, especially when the volume is higher than 85 dB.
- Slipping and Falling – Slippery floors, crowded aisleways, and improperly stacked boxes can cause the ideal environment for a slip, trip or fall. Many of these accidents leave the worker with strained ligaments, bruised muscles, and broken bones.
- Repetitive Movement Injury (RMI) – Repeatedly performing identical duties while working can in time lead to significant RMI injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage, tendinitis, and muscle fatigue. Workers with RMI also experience other illnesses including neck strain, back problems, shoulder strain, and others.
- Heat and Work Exhaustion – Many workers of the fast food restaurant spend long hours on the job in a hot environment cooking burglars and other food throughout the day. Long hours often equate to overexertion, physical fatigue, and mentally draining that might take weeks or months to recover fully.
- Toxic Substance Exposure – Every McDonald's has toxic materials and products stored in the back room and cleaning supply room. These products are used to sanitize the facility's bathrooms, workstation, kitchen area. Repeated, long-term exposure to many of these toxic chemicals through inhalation, ingestion, or physical contact can cause significant injuries.
- Violence in the Workplace – McDonald's, like all other fast food restaurants, and a busy community, is highly susceptible to robbery, theft, and burglary. Over the decades, many employees have been seriously injured and killed by bandits attempting to rob the place.
- Wrongful Death – OSHA statistics prove that the number of customers, visitors, and employees killed at fast food restaurants has risen dramatically in the last few decades.
Data provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reveal that one out of every eight employees working in fast food become sick every year to the point where they vomit or experience diarrhea. Oddly, many of these workers go to work sick, because they are unable to lose the wages caused by taking time off.
McDonalds Workers' Wages
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016, data concerning the employment statistics of the previous year, 81,000 Fast Food Workers were working in the Chicago, Naperville and Arlington Heights metropolitan area. On average, McDonalds Workers in northeastern Illinois earn $20,950 every year (mean wage), which is $10.07 per hour. The wage is significantly higher than the national averages. See Chart
In his McDonald's Cases Involving Crime
Most parents are usually thrilled when their children finally grow up, get a car, leave the nest and go to work at the local restaurant or retail store. Unfortunately, the high incident rate of serious crimes, fatalities, incidents, and accidents occurring at fast food restaurants has increased exponentially in recent years. The case is detailed below represent just a small sampling of the number of serious problems that occur at McDonald's and other restaurants that lead to severe injuries and preventable fatalities.
- Case 1: Houston Texas – In July 2014, a US federal court ordered McDonald's to pay compensation to families of two teenagers who had died at a Houston, Texas restaurant. The court decided there was a lack of security at the McDonald's that potentially lead to the death of the teenagers. The incident involved an eighteen-year-old college student and his nineteen-year-old girlfriend who were both beaten to death by a mob that had gathered at the local McDonald's. The plaintiff's attorney in the case stated that "this restaurant has a terrible history. This was a dangerous location, and McDonald's knew it. Yet, they did nothing to prevent their senseless deaths." The jury ordered the fast food restaurant to pay the family of the female victim $11 million and the family of the male victim $16 million. McDonald's is expected to appeal.
- Case 2: San Ysidro, California – The McDonald's in San Ysidro was the location of one of the first major mass shootings of the early 1980s. A shootout occurred when James Huberty, a 41-year-old perpetrator killed twenty-one individuals and injured nineteen more before the SWAT team fatally shot him. Until 1991, this incident was ranked the number one deadly Mass. shooting ever in the US. A few days before the incident, the perpetrator told his wife that he believed he had a mental problem.
- Case 3: Michigan and Oregon – In 1982, nearly 50 individuals residing in visiting in Michigan and Oregon became ill after eating a meal at McDonald's. This incident was the first confirmed outbreak of E. coli associated with fast food restaurant poisoning. Since then, there have been numerous outbreaks involving one of humans' most dangerous pathogens or companies have recalled millions of pounds of infected meat.
- Case 4: Pooler, Georgia -- An investigator determined that the leaking of carbon dioxide caused the death of a Florida visitor at the Pooler McDonald's that emitted through the restaurant's walls. The eighty-year-old customer lost her life after being exposed to CO2 levels. The corner diagnosed her condition as death by asphyxiation. The restaurant uses carbon dioxide to create busy sodas. However, the toxic fumes were found to have been leaking into the women's bathroom when the incident had occurred. Since its original installation, the lines used to feed CO2 into the beverage equipment had been disconnected. The alteration in the lines causes a buildup of excessive carbon dioxide that eventually flowed through the walls and into the women's bathroom.
- Case 5: Houston, Texas – OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) issued a report on how a fire began at a Houston Texas McDonald's restaurant. Early reports indicated that the firefighters who lost their lives during the event succumbed to the smoke and suffocation. The revealed facts are in opposition to early reports that stated that the burning trusses killed the firemen.
- Case 6: Tucson, Arizona – In November 2014, an unarmed male victim was shot to death in a cell Tucson McDonald's restaurant after being involved in a car crash in the restaurant's parking lot.
In many incidences, the injured victim will hire personal injury attorney to represent them in the Workmen's Comp. benefits. Sometimes, the attorney can find additional third parties who might also be at fault for their client's harm, injury or wrongful death.
Want to Make Sure You Are Fully Compensated for Your Injuries?
Our law firm assists injured McDonalds Workers get compensation under the IL Worker's Compensation Act and through civil lawsuits. We provide Free Case Reviews and a No-Win/No Fee guarantee.
Were you injured on the job and believe that you are entitled to receive monetary compensation? More than likely, you're right. You can probably file and obtain benefits through Worker's Compensation. However, you might also be eligible to receive additional funds through third parties that might also be at fault for your injuries.
Our law firm working on your behalf can handle your entire compensation claim including filing a case, gathering evidence, negotiating a settlement or presenting the lawsuit in front of a judge and jury. Our personal injury law firm will provide immediate legal representation without any upfront payment or fee. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) working on your behalf are paid only after they have successfully resolved your case by winning at trial or by negotiating an acceptable out of court settlement. We guarantee that if we do not win, you owe us nothing!