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Food workers told to treat burn injuries with mustard

Fast food workers in Minnesota may be at a serious risk for burn injuries, according to a nationwide poll conducted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. The survey showed that 79 percent of the 1,400 workers who were questioned had suffered from on-the-job burn injuries. About 58 percent of the workers who were polled had been burned more than once.

While the study found that burn injuries were commonplace in the fast food industry, it also revealed that treatment of these workplace injuries was often inadequate. One-third of fast food workers who had been burned on the job said that their manager had told them to treat their injury using condiments like mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and butter.

On March 16, organizers of a labor campaign called "Fight for 15" began speaking out about the problem of fast food burns. So far, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received 28 complaints from McDonald's workers about serious workplace burns. Some of the workers say that first aid kits were empty, they had no protective equipment, and there was a lack of training. Workers are also alleging that a lot of burns are the result of under-staffing and pressure to be fast.

A worker who has been injured on the job has the right to file a workers' compensation claim to seek wage replacement benefits and medical coverage. The worker may file this kind of claim regardless of who was at fault for their accident. If an employer retaliates against a worker for pursuing workers' compensation benefits, a lawyer may be able to help the worker to sue the employer for their actions.

Source: RT.com, "'Put mustard on it': McDonald's workers sue over workplace burns," March 16, 2015

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