As the holidays sweep in, ‘now hiring’ signs start to pop up everywhere. The influx in shoppers means more employees are necessary, but just for a set amount of time.
Being a seasonal employee can provide you with a little additional holiday spending money, but diving into an unfamiliar workplace, at such a busy time of year, can also increase your risk for workplace injuries. Make sure you stay as safe as possible if you’re picking up some extra work this holiday season.
Do seasonal employees only work during the holidays?
Seasonal employees actually get hired throughout the year. While most of us think about seasonal employees working from November-January, to not only tackle holiday shopping, but holiday gift returns, another popular season for extra help is over the summer.
According to employee injury statistics, summertime is when the most injuries from work occur for seasonal employees. However, being new to a job will almost always increase your risk of getting hurt simply because you’re still learning the ropes. That said, the answer to the question, are holiday workers more susceptible to injuries? Is definitely ‘yes’, but that goes for any seasonal worker no matter the actual season.
What puts holiday workers more at risk of injury?
The type of work you do as a seasonal employee greatly impacts your injury risk. Those working in a warehouse or factory are at risk because of the rigors of the work. Employees in the retail or service industry are at risk because of lack of training and the influx of customers.
In both cases, the physical demands of the job may exceed your expectations, leading to sprains, strained muscles and the increased risk of injury due to exhaustion. There’s also a learning curve in both environments, where you may be at risk as you acclimate to new equipment and procedures.
Then there’s the increased customer traffic. This isn’t necessarily a handicap for seasonal workers, but it can make you feel overwhelmed since you’re new, leading you to rush and potentially make errors that could lead to an injury. You also may end up having to move quickly around excess clutter, which can lead to issues. If there’s not enough staff to accommodate the customers, there’s definitely nobody staying on top of cleaning up.
Most common holiday injuries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common workplace injuries, in general, are connected to overexertion and bodily reaction. Second are injuries occurring from contact with objects and equipment, and then come falls, slips and trips. The people most likely to experience injuries from work are those working in the service industry or transportation/material moving.
If you’re in any of these industries, or find yourself in a little over your head on the job, take a minute to realize this puts you at risk for injury, and do what you can to reduce the stress and strain. Make sure to to protect yourself, as best you can, from workplace injuries over this holiday season by:
- Asking for training on all equipment as well as safety protocols.
- Following safety rules.
- Making sure you’re using machinery correctly with the right safety gear.
- Asking about the physical demands of the job before you accept the position.
- Speaking up when you see a safety issue or aren’t sure about something.
- Taking your time, even if you feel pressured to rush.
Filing a holiday injury claim
Even as a seasonal worker, should you suffer injuries from work, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation. Georgia law doesn’t distinguish between those hired to work year-round and those hired temporarily. What gets complicated though is how to file a claim.
While you should always report any workplace injuries to your supervisor, and take the proper steps filing a holiday injury claim per your employer’s policies, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer to assist you with the claims process. Their expertise and support will make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Additionally, if your workplace injuries are related to negligence, you may be able to receive additional compensation. A lawyer can help determine whether you have a case and go about the proper next steps.
Protect yourself from workplace injuries over the holidays
There are plenty of ways you can protect yourself against an increased risk of injury whether you’re working as a seasonal employee or are somewhere full time. But, you can’t always avoid an accident, and you can’t always prevent yourself from getting hurt. Should injuries from work occur, contact Watson Injury Law to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. Our experienced team will take the time to hear your case before creating a customized plan of action to get you properly compensated. Reach out today for a free consultation.