Barista injuries go beyond just burns

| Mar 29, 2017 | Workers' Compensation |

Coffee has become a staple of many people’s daily routine. Whether they enjoy a single cup in the morning or need several throughout the day, they often have their specific flavors, brews and other details that make up their perfect cups. Though having their coffee can put a spring in many individuals’ steps, as someone who works behind the bar making these various drinks, you may find yourself facing risks for injuries.

You may consider the position of barista a low-risk job, but due to the various strains crafting coffee-based drinks can put on your body, you may notice certain aches and pains presenting themselves. In fact, repetitive stress injuries affect many baristas.

Repetitive stress injuries

A repetitive stress injury comes about when an individual carries out the same motion over and over. The repeated motion begins to place strain on joints, muscles and other parts of the body, and that strain could result in serious injuries. Though jobs that involve a substantial amount of typing or phone answering may come to mind when you think of such injuries, you can easily fall victim to such an injury as a barista.

Risk-causing actions

A variety of tasks carried out during your duties as a barista may put you at risk, especially if your use of an incorrect technique adds unnecessary strain. Many common repetitive actions include:

  • Espresso tamping
  • Removing portafilters
  • Steaming
  • Lifting milk jugs
  • Bending to access under-counter storage
  • Reaching for shelved ingredients
  • Standing for long periods of time

Preventative measures

Using too much force or the wrong posture when tamping espresso can easily increase the risk of a repetitive stress injury. This issue comes in as just one type of mistake that could put added strain on baristas who make hundreds of drinks. However, employers could take certain steps to prevent or lower the risk of unnecessary injuries, including:

  • Training for proper techniques
  • Adding floor mats for standing support
  • Lowering or raising storage
  • Creating an ergonomic workspace

Workers’ compensation

If you have suffered a repetitive stress injury due to your time as a barista, you may wonder whether you could qualify for workers’ compensation. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances under which the issues came about, the possibility exists that your injuries could leave you eligible for such benefits.

In order to fully understand your options for workers’ compensation and how these benefits could potentially help with your repetitive stress injury, you may wish to speak with an experienced California attorney.


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