Bartender Injury... The Dukes of Hazards (Part 1)

August 28, 2014

Repetitive Strain Injury or Occupational Overuse Syndrome are injuries becoming increasingly common amongst bartenders.

Injuries involve... fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Many of the underlying causes of workplace injury can be traced back to:

  1. Poor legacy tool design pre-dating Prohibition.
  2. Price! 

Legacy design implies unquestioning continuation of bad design based on the weight of history (that’s the way it’s always been) rather than the evolution of human workplace reform centred around the physical and comfort requirements of bartenders. Funnily most all other areas in and around a working bar have improved... except the most obvious, the tools, bartenders use.

When hospitality experiences are centred around the guest, then the show, well, should it not come as a surprise whose last... the bartender!

The other significant contributing factor, NEVER spoken about is PRICE!

No sane manufacturer will innovate when its customers mandate cheaper and cheaper pricing; ease-of-use and comfort will always be sacrificed.

Sadly when these 2 factors combine the fate of countless generations of bartenders is set; suffering years of endless pain.

So what’s changing:

  1. More people making bartending their profession/lifelong commitment with injury accumulating progressively over time, rather than disappearing with the ins and outs of successive generations of bartenders.
  2. Workplace health and safety concerns morphing into accepted RIGHTS!
  3. Social networks acting as amplifiers to exchange ideas and discussion etc.

Industry leaders such as Dushan Zaric, Simon Ford, Jacob Briars, Angus Winchester and Simon Difford have introduced injury into the bartender lexicon... whilst they all highlight the issues and some physical relief... the long term solution of innovation, ease-of-use design is missed... Is it a case of why bother with things that aren’t valued?

This became the calling which became the point where Überbartools™ journey started years back! Now that’s a whole other discussion!

So then let’s look at the Consequences, Culprits and Changes of Work Place injury. (Part 2 to follow next week)

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