Foodservice Equipment Reports

Labor Group Claims Chains Are Liable For Worker Safety

A labor group that has been organizing worker protests for higher wages and better workplace conditions is calling for McDonald’s Corp. to be held accountable under federal rules for worker-safety violations at its franchised restaurants.

Fast Food Forward, backed by the Service Employees Int’l. Union, last month filed a series of complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging violations by 19 McDonald’s franchisees and nine company-owned stores.

The Wall Street Journal reviewed the complaint and statements made by employees to OSHA. It quoted a worker at a store in New Orleans who claimed burns from the grill on almost every shift. “Grease pops up from the seasoning on the grill, and it burns my hands and arms,” the worker wrote. “We have no protective equipment to keep us from getting burned.”

Other workers said they felt pressure to work faster—contributing to safety problems—and that stores lack protective equipment and safety training and that first-aid kits often lack basic items such as burn cream.

OSHA is investigating the allegations.

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