California residents might not give much thought to the employees behind the counter or drive-thru when ordering a Big Mac and fries at McDonald’s, but employees at the huge fast food chain have filed 28 complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The complaints cite working conditions that led to burns along with inadequate treatment after injuries.
Workers in 19 U.S. cities shared their issues about conditions at McDonald’s on March 16 as part of a labor campaign led by the Service Employees International Union called “Fight for 15.” The employees allege the pressure to work quickly combined with staff shortages has led to grease burns, but the restaurants do not have the protective equipment or first-aid supplies to combat the burns.
When more than 1,400 workers were polled for a survey by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, 33 percent of workers said that a manager suggested inappropriate treatments for burns instead of offering burn cream. Suggestions included using condiments like mustard, butter or ketchup on the wounds.
McDonald’s issued a statement saying that safe working conditions were important to the company and that they would review the allegations. A representative for the company also commented and alleged that the complaints were generated by activists targeting the McDonald’s brand to garner media coverage.
When on-the-job injuries like burns occur, workers can file for compensation in order to pay for medical treatment. While companies are required to provide insurance for employees in case an accident takes place, there are many rules and regulations in place that may prevent a worker from gaining the compensation they are owed. One may wish to speak to an attorney after suffering a work-related injury.
Source: RT News, “‘Put mustard on it’: McDonald’s workers sue over workplace burns,” March 16, 2015