The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Fifty Six

Bartending is a dangerous job. Here are some of the occupational hazards bartenders face and hope to avoid and deal with them.

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Listen Now:

In today’s Episode…

We’re talking about the dangers of bartending – and how to avoid them (or deal with them, if it’s too late.)

Injuries / Cutting Yourself:

In a job that requires cutting, slicing, and handling glass, it’s probably just a matter of time until you cut yourself. If you do, it’s important to remember:

  • Deal with yourself – wrap it up, pick up any missing pieces
  • Clean / sanitize your workspace (or ask a coworker to do so if you are incapacitated)
  • TELL YOUR MANAGER, especially if you need to get medical attention.
  • If you need to go to the ER, GO TO THE ER. Finger Condoms are not a replacement for stitches.

No matter what, it is important to TELL YOUR MANAGER.

Other Occupational Hazards:

Disclaimer: This information is based on Chris’ personal experience and internet research. I’m not a doctor. If it hurts, you should see a professional and definitely not ask me!

1. Repetitive Motion Injuries / Tennis Elbow

  • Switch hands and try different shakes like the European Shake
  • Stretch before and during your shift (when possible)
  • Use an arm brace (Note: this is a recent release that is even better than the one Chris recommended in the audio)
  • Take breaks (Ha – I know, not realistic. But if you can get a break, take it.)
  • If it hurts, see a doctor. If you wait, the problem may become worse or untreatable.

2. Wrist Stress / Injuries from Turning Bottles

  • I recommend the “chicken wing” – move your arm instead of your wrist.
  • Someone on a reddit thread also mentioned a “Dynaflex Pro Gyro Exerciser“. There’s an awkward video on how to use this – you are welcome.

3. Hearing

  • Bars are pretty loud and shaking close to your ear makes everything louder.
  • Try to shake farther away from your ear and alternate.
  • Stand away from speakers if possible

4. Back and Knees

Lifting kegs or ice is an opportunity to lift badly. Lift with your legs (like they say) and wear a back brace if you have to. If you are experiencing back pain, see a doctor!

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Thanks for Listening!

It is in everyone’s interest for you to stay healthy behind the bar. Yes, sometimes management will gripe about having to send you to the ER (it stinks, but I’ve seen it.)  Do the right thing, take care of your body and see a doctor if you need to. In this job, your body is your livelihood – so do what you have to do to stay healthy!

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