Many companies hire employees during specific times of the year. These temporary staff members are known as seasonal workers. Plenty of professionals enjoy making extra money doing seasonal work during the summer, holidays, or whenever they are needed. However, they do have special workplace safety concerns that must be kept in mind. Otherwise, they could be at risk of getting injured on the job or even hurting a co-worker.
How is Seasonal Work Hazardous?
Seasonal work can carry hazards for countless reasons. One would be that the seasonal worker has to suddenly get up to speed on unfamiliar equipment and new protocols. Another risk factor can be the weather. A seasonal worker whose job is mainly outside in the snow may be exposed to the elements. Sometimes, seasonal workers have very little time to prepare for their positions or are expected to move quickly to meet time-driven demands.
Many factors point to a need for seasonal employee safety to be taken seriously. There are quite a few ways that seasonal workers can lessen their likelihood of experiencing a workplace injury or disease that would require a Workers’ Compensation claim, time off, medical bills, and ongoing treatment.
Adequate Training: Seasonal workers should undergo adequate training, which could mean hands-on training, classroom learning, and online education. The better trained a seasonal worker is, the more information the employee will have to make good decisions when faced with common and new experiences. Seasonal workers may also feel more confident in their problem-solving skills with additional training.
Time Management: Regardless of the volume of work that must be accomplished by seasonal employees, they need to have the time to do the work safely and securely. Rushing always opens the chance for mistakes, including serious ones that could lead to staff injury. Therefore, all seasonal personnel should be empowered to slow down when appropriate to a pace that does not put them or their co-workers in jeopardy.
Monitor Health: Lots of companies are beginning to implement rigorous health screenings and employee self-reporting to lower the risk of sick workers transmitting viruses to their colleagues. In addition to taking their temperatures at home and keeping up with all required protocols for calling in sick, employees should also try to get enough sleep.
Workplace accidents can frequently be linked to poor sleep or extreme fatigue. Often, seasonal workers may even take on several swing shifts. These changes in sleep patterns can lead to exhaustion. The best way to stay on top of this situation is for workers to be aware of their own mental health and physical responses. An incredibly tired employee working on heavy equipment or machinery is more inclined to make errors than an employee who is fully rested.
Monitor the Weather: Even if a seasonal employee is not working outside, the weather could still come into play in terms of workplace safety. Additionally, seasonal employees who drive to and from work will want to be very careful, especially when traveling during inclement weather. In Pennsylvania in 2019, one-fifth of all traffic accidents could be traced to driving in adverse weather conditions, including freezing rain, snow, and fog. During the holiday season, the natural volume of traffic tends to increase, and many drivers may be coming from parties where alcohol was served.
Wear Protective Gear: If a seasonal worker is given personal protective equipment (PPE), the gear should be worn without fail whenever expected. Many workers who were injured while performing basic tasks have had their Workers’ Compensation claims denied because they were not wearing PPE at the time. Workers must also maintain the integrity of their PPE. Any PPE that is malfunctioning, broken, or worn out should be immediately updated.
Can Injured Seasonal Workers File for Workers’ Compensation?
Despite their best efforts, seasonal employees may end up with injuries. In those situations, workers should let their supervisors and employer know immediately. It does not matter that the employee is temporary, as long as the individual is an employee and not an independent contractor. The employer will begin an accident investigation, but it is up to the worker to submit a formal claim for benefits.
If the injury is severe or the initial claim is denied, some seasonal workers prefer to contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. Legal professionals who work with Workers’ Compensation cases routinely can help their clients create first-time claims or make appeals if an original claim has been denied.
Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC Fight for Injured Seasonal Employees
If you suffered an injury while working at a seasonal job, contact the Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC to find out more about your rights. Call us at 856-751-7676 or fill out an online form for a free consultation today. Located in Mount Laurel, Vineland, Trenton, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, as well as Trevose, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.