The holiday season is one of the biggest and busiest for all sorts of companies in various industries. In the retail sector, especially, the pressure to make sales, keep stores organized and stocked, and ensure customers are feeling happy and appreciated can really spike during the holidays. Even with shopping experiences restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, the holiday demand is still felt almost like nothing changed at all.
One problem with the busy holiday season is that employers and employees alike can feel rushed and pressured each time they clock in. With added haste comes added waste and an increased risk of a workplace accident. For employers, this could mean seeing an increase in workers’ compensation claims filed by injured workers.
There are five types of workers’ comp claims you can expect to see filed more often than not by holiday workers:
- Back pain: Keeping shelves neatly stocked and ready to move product is backbreaking – sometimes almost literally! Holiday workers should be encouraged to take frequent breaks to prevent overexertion and back muscle strain that can occur due to lifting, moving, and placing products for hours on end.
- Falls from heights: Similarly, employees can be at an increased risk of falling off heights while stocking high shelves or placing items into the overstock compartments. As an employee grows tired throughout a shift, the chances of a fall accident will only continue to increase.
- Fatigue: Exhaustion to the point of illness can be considered a type of workplace injury that warrants a workers’ compensation claim. As holiday employees work long shifts due to increased sales and demands, it is important for employers to not overlook the risk of them suffering from exhaustion or fatigue.
- Occupational illnesses: The winter is never a good time for sicknesses, as it is often called the flu season. Employers must keep watch for any employees who are exhibiting signs of an illness, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. If an employee becomes sick because another employee was not sent home while obviously sick, then it could be considered an occupational illness that permits a workers’ compensation claim and benefits.
- Mental health concerns: Stress from working during the busy holidays can add up to legitimate mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression. Although workers’ comp claims regarding mental health difficulties are usually filed by first responders and others in traumatic situations, there is still the chance that an overworked holiday employee could have a valid claim to workers’ compensation benefits following a worrying mental health diagnosis.
From our team at the Law Offices of Wax & Wax in Santa Clarita, California, we wish you and your coworkers a merry and safe holiday season! If you are injured while working a holiday shift, then please know that our workers’ comp attorneys are standing by to help. Schedule a free consultation by dialing (818) 946-0608 at any time.