The most common workplace injuries sustained by fast-food workers in Tennessee and around the country are burns. According to a workplace safety survey, 79 percent of all fast-food employees sustained burn injuries while performing their duties in the twelve months that were covered, and many were burned repeatedly. Given the exposed nature of many of the cooking surfaces and the fast pace required of its employees during a rush, some commentators say McDonald's prizes speed and sales over employee safety and proper training.
A complaint recently filed with OSHA by a group of McDonald's employees in 19 cities alleges an environment fraught with workplace accident hazards and managerial indifference to employee safety. One worker who was burned on the arm stated that when the on-shift supervisor was asked for burn ointment, the manager told him to put mayonnaise on the injury instead of giving proper treatment. McDonald's denies the allegations, claiming the complaints are nothing more than an attempt to smear McDonald's' reputation and safety practices. Six McDonald's franchisees have been investigated by OSHA since the complaints were first aired.