Every year around this time, signs start popping up in business windows and ads show up online that say some variation of “help wanted – seasonal workers needed.”
Many different industries, including food service, hospitality and retail all need a temporary influx of employees to get through the upcoming winter holidays. Unfortunately, temporary workers are often at high risk for on-the-job injuries, so that opportunity to make a few extra dollars can end up coming at a big price.
Why are holiday temp workers inclined to get hurt?
While risks vary according to the nature of the work, there are some common reasons that temp workers end up injured within a few days of starting work:
- Inadequate training: The reality is that employers don’t want to waste a lot of time and resources training someone who will only be on the job for a few weeks. That can prompt them to cut corners when it comes to training, and that leads to accidents.
- Unfamiliar workplaces: Just not being overly familiar with the way a workplace is laid out or the rhythms of a warehouse floor (and having no time to learn) can put seasonal workers in danger of slips, trips and falls.
- Physical hazards: A lot of seasonal employees are hired as “unskilled labor” just to do the heavy lifting in back rooms full of boxes and inventory. That can easily lead to back, shoulder, hand and foot injuries.
- Fatigue: The holiday rush can be pretty intense, and even more so for employees who just started. Long hours can translate into fatigue, and fatigued workers make mistakes that can lead to serious injuries for themselves or others.
Ultimately, however, temporary workers are treated just the same as regular employees for the purposes of workers’ compensation. If you get injured on a seasonal job this winter, don’t let an employer tell you that you aren’t entitled to benefits just because you’re not a regular employee. Instead, seek legal guidance and support to get the compensation you deserve.