Working during the holiday rush is not only stressful, but it can also be dangerous when in unsafe working conditions. While you may need the work, that does not mean you sign away your rights as a worker. We break down the common injuries during the holiday season, many of which are covered by worker's compensation claims.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips and falls are the most common workplace injuries. They are caused by:
Slippery floors or wet floors. A slippery floor can be caused by a puddle of water on the floor, spilled liquid, or even oil. Wet floors may be caused by rain or snow melting off boots as people enter the building and walk across it.
Tripping over boxes or other objects on the floor. This can include tools left lying around, cardboard boxes used to ship items to your office, and furniture that has yet to be moved away from entrances or exits after delivery.
Tripping over electrical cords. Electrical cords should be kept out of walkways and away from areas where people might trip over them.
Regarding the holiday rush, if your employer is ignoring your safety requests to remove potential hazards, document this immediately. If an employer's continued negligence led to your accident, you have a great start for getting worker's compensation.
Strains and sprains
Injuries to your muscles and joints are the most common work-related injuries. These injuries occur when you overuse or suddenly move your body in an awkward position, causing damage to muscles and tendons.
For example, if you're lifting something too heavy for you, your body will compensate by putting more stress on one part of your body than others—causing pain in those areas. This can lead to strains or sprains (a sprain is where ligaments are damaged).
If your employer has been forcing you to carry heavy boxes, despite your pain, and not scheduling other workers to carry these boxes, you may be eligible for compensation. It is up to your employer to properly spread the workload across available staff and not overwork you just to make an extra buck.
Driving injuries can be caused by several factors. Driver fatigue, distracted driving, and drowsy driving are among the most common causes of workplace accidents during the holiday season.
While you may be scared to think you are liable for a roadside accident, that may not be the case. If your employer continues to overwork you leading to exhausting working conditions, these hazardous working conditions are to blame for the accident, meaning your employer is potentially liable, not you.
Fatigue is a significant cause of workplace accidents. Most of these injuries are caused by overexertion, which means you are doing more than your body can handle physically.
Exhaustion can cause an accident because it affects your ability to react quickly and safely in dangerous situations at work. Fatigue may be the result of a loss of sleep due to shift work or working long hours (both during regular business hours and after-hours), or it could be related to physical exertion that takes place over an extended period of time without proper recovery time between shifts.
Exhaustion impacts not only you physically but mentally as well. The stress and potentially depressive symptoms stemming from exhaustion are not to be taken lightly. If your employer has been overworking you and not assigning shifts evenly across staff, you may be able to claim compensation under occupational illness. Your employer is essentially willfully ignoring your worsening physical condition and creating an unsafe environment.
If you feel that your working conditions are unsafe call the attorneys at The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC today at (210) 807-3178 for an initial consultation