Common Workplace Injuries During the Holiday Season
Every year, the fall and winter months bring several enjoyable holidays, but the holiday season brings both joy and an increased risk of injury, especially at work.
Numerous businesses across various industries struggle with meeting a greater demand for different products, and warehouse and manufacturing workers often have a sharp increase in physical demands.
The significant work expectations of the holiday season create stressful work environments, which increases work accidents. Additionally, other elements of the holidays increase the risk of injury, such as decoration mishaps. If you were injured while at work, you need to seek workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical bills and lost wages.
Increased Work Demands
Many different industries experience sudden increases in workloads over the holidays. Retail suppliers become overwhelmed with holiday shoppers, and delivery service workers have to process and deliver significantly more packages. With an increased workload, employees can often become overwhelmed and fail to act cautiously resulting in injuries. Some employees may even become so overworked that they face serious health risks related to exhaustion.
Even aside from the added workload, employees may face stressors from their personal lives that contribute to workplace accidents. You could have difficulty juggling your work and personal life during the holidays, resulting in less sleep and more fatigue. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both overworking and working while tired can greatly increase your risk of injury while on the job.
Setting Up Decorations
In addition to overworking and exhaustion, people often become injured at work due to holiday decorations. Many employees become injured from falling from ladders while setting up decorations. Those setting up decorations may also drop ornaments or entire boxes on unsuspecting employees by accident. This can result in bruises and serious lacerations. In addition to the decorating process, employees can also slip and fall over loose wires being used to power holiday decorations.
Something important to note about being injured because of a holiday decoration mishap is that you’re still eligible for workers’ compensation even if you weren’t performing a traditional work task. If you were following your employer or supervisors’ orders by decorating something, you are eligible for workers’ compensation in the event that you become injured.
Fires caused by decorations are a great concern during the holidays. Even outside of the holiday season, fires are the most common cause of workplace injuries, and this risk increases during the holiday season. When businesses fail to follow fire code guidelines, they put their employees at risk. Employers and employees who decorate should always make sure that they plug electronic devices into appropriate outlets, and they also need to avoid overloading outlets, which can also catch fire if the circuit breaker fails to trip.
Christmas trees can also pose a serious fire hazard. Businesses need to avoid placing Christmas trees near an open flame or another heat source. Additionally, dried-out trees pose a greater risk for catching on fire, so you need to keep the tree hydrated.
Businesses typically employ more temporary workers during the holidays than the rest of the year. There’s often a greater workload and many full-time employees take time off during the season to spend time with their families.
Temporary workers often only work for a business for a few weeks during the holidays, and this can lead to improper training. Companies often don’t invest the same amount of time and resources training temporary workers in comparison to the rest of their staff because they know the temporary employees will only be there for a short time. Temporary employees’ lack of adequate training greatly enhances their likelihood to become injured on the job.
If a temporary employee becomes injured on the job, they’re often covered by the workers’ compensation of the temporary work agency, but the business where the injury occurred could bear partial or full liability depending on the situation and the work agreement.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney For Your Holiday Injury
The holidays are a dangerous time of year for workplace injuries, and if you become injured while at work, you need to seek workers’ compensation so that you’re not paying out of pocket for medical bills and lost wages. Even when you have a solid claim, employers and insurance companies often take evasive measures to avoid paying you the full benefits you deserve, so you need to contact seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys.
Here at Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe PLLC, our attorneys represent victims of workplace injuries across Louisiana and Mississippi. We’ve helped numerous clients receive the compensation they deserve, and we’ll assist you through the entire claims process. For expert legal support, call our Jackson office at 601-983-2667, or call our New Orleans office at 504-788-2994. We also offer free case evaluations, and you can schedule your evaluation by clicking here.