Workers’ Comp Insurance for Restaurants in Georgia

If you own a restaurant or operate within the food industry in Georgia, Workers’ Compensation will most likely be a requirement for your business.

Many Workers’ Compensation claims that arise from the restaurant industry are because of cuts and lacerations. While many employers are quick to offer transitional jobs to workers, that may not be wise for those in the food service industry, especially if an injured worker is a tipped employee. All workers in a restaurant need to be covered by Workers’ Compensation unless they are exempt. Restaurants in Georgia can lower their Workers’ Compensation premiums by properly training employees and reducing the number of workplace accidents.

Call the Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers at (561) 990-3022 to learn more about coverage for restaurants today.

Common Reasons for Workers’ Comp Claims in the Georgia Restaurant Industry

Injuries are very common in the restaurant industry in Georgia. Servers might slip and fall when running food; chefs might cut themselves when preparing meals. The sheer number of accidents in the food service industry makes getting Workers’ Compensation all the more important for restaurants in Georgia.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 93,800 non-fatal injuries and illnesses reported throughout the restaurant industry in 2019. Cuts and lacerations were at the top of the list for injuries that resulted in days lost from work, adding up to 8,110 cases. When injured employees have to miss work because of injuries, they typically file Workers’ Compensation claims to recover a percentage of their lost wages. Sprains, tears, strains, soreness, and thermal burns were other common injuries resulting from workplace accidents in restaurants.

Restaurant workers, namely servers, in Georgia typically rely on tips, as many are exempt from receiving the state minimum wage. If workers are likely to miss out on tips while recovering from injuries, they are more likely to file Workers’ Compensation claims. If a restaurant does not have insurance, it will have to pay out of pocket for the damages incurred by a worker.

Accommodating Injury Work Restrictions in the Restaurant Industry in Georgia

Accommodating a doctor’s work restrictions is a simple task for some businesses. For others, like restaurants, accommodating work restrictions is not so easy. Furthermore, accommodating work restrictions might be less wise for restaurants that employ tipped workers.

To reduce the Workers’ Compensation lost-wage benefits available to an employee, businesses typically try to offer transitional jobs. The goal is that, by returning to work in some capacity, an injured employee can earn some income while they recover. This can be challenging for restaurants, especially when dealing with tipped employees. Likely unable to return to work waiting tables, tipped employees might only be able to return at a non-tipping level, which would increase their pay. Though this means they would receive less in Workers’ Compensation benefits, as their income might be more than what they were previously being paid, apart from tips, it means more money out of your restaurant.

To combat that, partner with our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers to find affordable coverage. That way, when tipped employees cannot return to work, you do not have to be concerned about finding them a transitional job for fear that your premiums will increase too much. Regardless, it typically benefits restaurants not to offer transitional jobs to tipped employees as their compensation for lost wages will be relatively low.

Transitional jobs do not offset Workers’ Compensation benefits for medical expenses, meaning there is no additional incentive to offer transitional jobs to tipped restaurant employees in Georgia.

Restaurant Workers that Need to Be Covered by Workers’ Comp Policies in Georgia

In all likelihood, everyone working in your restaurant must be covered by Workers’ Compensation, from the line cooks to the hosts. There are no insurance exceptions for general restaurant employees.

The moment a new employee begins working for your restaurant in Georgia, they need to be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Because most all restaurants employ three or more workers, insurance is a necessity. Everyone needs to be covered unless they are eligible for an exemption, which is rare in the restaurant industry.

All cooks, bussers, hosts, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, and managers need to be protected by Workers’ Compensation. Though workers in some positions are more likely to sustain a workplace injury than others, no one is immune from being hurt in an accident. This is the case for every business in the food service industry, including coffee shops, food trucks, and fast-food chains. Workers’ Compensation insurance is typically required for all.

How to Lower Workers’ Comp Coverage Costs for Restaurants in Georgia

Because of the high number of workplace accidents regularly seen in the restaurant industry, Workers’ Compensation premiums might be more expensive for companies in the food service sector.

The best way to keep Workers’ Compensation costs low is by properly training and vetting workers. Show servers the proper ways to handle hot plates and trays full of food so they do not trip and get injured. Make sure cooks and chefs know how to use kitchen equipment that could be hazardous to limit accidents in the kitchen. Having uniforms that include the proper shoes and protective clothing can also limit the number of accidents and injuries, especially burns, and help you save on Workers’ Compensation costs.

The longer your restaurant goes without having a workplace accident, the lower its Workers’ Compensation premiums will become. Insurance is also typically more affordable for restaurants that have been in the industry for some time. Despite your restaurant’s possible history of workplace accidents, our brokers can write an insurance policy that provides the necessary protections to your business and its employees in Georgia, without breaking the bank.

Find Insurance for Your Georgia Restaurant

Call (561) 990-3022 to get in touch with NPN Brokers and learn more about our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers today.