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Injuries repetitive stress in the restoration: consequences and prevention


At the beginning of this decade began to swarm online urban legends about a disease that affected only the baristas cafes. It was the pathology known as "Barista wrist" or doll barista. Far from being an invention of young workers EE. UU., It was a real disease well known in the medical world as epicondilitis.

The emergence of this epidemic emerged the same as the second wave of coffee. Starbucks She began to emerge in this market niche and the number of dedicated to the care of professional coffee machines soared exponentially workers. And just as they did the cases of epicondylitis associated with wrist movements required to use the coffee with mango.

Generally, epicondylitis is a trauma disorder that can appear in the various joints of the body with exertion low intensity but with many repetitions. Apart from the doll barista, epicondylitis includes diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, common among office professionals and gamers; Tennis Elbow, which it indicates clearly as his name is most common in athletes who use rackets; Y, Finally, writers cramp or concertistas, preventing the proper movement of the tendons.

In this way, being an illness recognized by the medical community and which particularly affects professionals, Naturally it a evaluate occupational hazard in different workspaces.

In the world of restaurants, and more specifically in EE. UU., the economic damage that repetitive strain injuries can cause are now well known. Nothing better than to exemplify some cases damage:

  • Among the various accidents and injuries, the problems caused by this type of tendinitis They cause the most prolonged and costly low. According to the report risks in restoring ArmTrust Financial published in 2017 with data from the previous four years, barista's wrist causes these professionals get caught lower 366 day average. Full recovery from repetitive strain injuries are very slow and an early return to work may compromise the health of the employee permanently.
  • Complications for the worker can be severe. Example Christine Joy D'Amico, of a barista 52 years he worked in Madeleine's Cafe Calvary Hospital in Canberra (Australia) I had to undergo surgery to remove a rib due to deterioration in the movement of the whole arm that had developed after years of working in the bar. The end of the story was not happy for the restaurant business where he worked, well a local court forced to give a compensation 600 000 Australian dollars in respect of physical injury in the workplace.
  • An informal survey organized by Alex Bernson, a professional guild, which was distributed to 475 colleagues, He revealed the high incidence of this type of repetitive stress injuries in bars. A 55% said participants have suffered such diseases.

Given its harmful effect on the health of workers and the pernicious consequences wrist barista can have on business, one wonders what can be done to avoid these situations.

The first step is choose local professional furniture properly. Not all industrial coffee makers are equal, some are more ergonomic. Consult the manufacturer should always be a requirement before proceeding with the purchase.

On the other hand, Although the machines have been acquired properly designed, that does not mean that everyone can use the same comfort with. In general, baristas stature suffer much overstrain needed to operate the coffee properly. It may be important to consider this aspect when hiring.

Must ensure that baristas can rest and recover. In a cafeteria success it is not uncommon serve 200 O 300 coffees a day, so the barista pull the lever a similar amount of times. If several employees serving the public, the optimum would be to alternate assignments to rest tendons are necessary not weaken.

Finally, You can also minimize the chances of developing this disease by offering better training course at the bar. Many workers end up suffering tendinitis or epicondylitis because they apply too much force in their movements, or perform these maintaining whole body tense. Learning to make the necessary moves in the workplace in a relaxed It is one of the best prevention tips that can be given.

If unfortunately not been able to avoid suffering this problem in the tendons and joints, you need to consult with a doctor to recommend us medicines and rest plan. You can also agree physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of the wrist. If there is no improvement and the pain stays, the baristas have to make peace with the idea of ​​leaving his job. This was just what I had to do Samantha Lino, a young employee of one of the Starbucks stores in New York (OF. UU.) what, direct recommendation from your doctor, He stopped working in the coffee chain Mermaid, disassociating completely barista work later.

The disorder makes it difficult to continue working under the same conditions as the person suffers twinges of sharp pain or severe pain sustained over time. It can also appear rigidity, numbness, weakness and cramps adding new risks to workers and peers when handling sharp objects, sharp or hot.

Take into account the problems caused by repetitive stress injuries will help the bar offer a better experience for all who gather there. According to the above by Jonathan y Gabrielle Rubinstein-Cheong, owners Joe the Art of Coffee, tendinitis of this type can "really change the taste of coffee. If you're pushing a going injury putting too much on one side and less on the other, and coffee will have a really bad taste. Pressure to perform properly is very important. We train our employees to arm position is exactly the same ".

The consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses may be the most unexpected, as evidenced.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.


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