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As the holidays are one of the busiest seasons of the year for many businesses, the risk of workplace accidents can increase as a result. Workplace accidents can cause debilitating injuries for employees at the time of year when they are needed most. Here are some of the most common causes of holiday season workplace accidents for both employers and employees to look out for and take steps to avoid.
The holiday season is normally the busiest time of the year for many companies due to the rush to meet performance goals, both for individual employees and departments and for companies as a whole. Employees feel pressured or may even be required to put in overtime during the holiday season, especially if they plan to take any vacation time for a holiday. This often results in mounting stress for employees. Work-related stress can cause employees to lose focus on their work, greatly increasing the risk of accidents due to distraction or fatigue. Work-related stress can also itself cause physical and psychological injuries to workers.
Many businesses choose to put up decorations for the holidays. Customer-facing businesses may decorate to try to attract foot traffic, while offices may often have decorations to help liven up the workplace during the holiday season. However, workers may become injured in accidents while putting up decorations around the store or the workplace. Some of the most common decorating accidents include slip and falls, trip and falls, falls from ladders, and crush accidents when heavy boxes or decorations fall on a worker. Decorating accidents can cause lacerations, broken bones, ligament/tendon/muscle injuries, internal organ injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
With added decorations around the workplace also comes an increased risk of accidents that cause electrocutions and fires. Employers should ensure that workers who are asked to put up electric decorations have proper training and safety equipment for dealing with electrical work. Businesses should also ensure that power outlets around a store or workplace are not overloaded by plugging in too many decorations. If necessary, businesses should hire an electrician to ensure that outlets can handle the power demands of decorations.
Businesses can also reduce the risk of fires caused by holiday decorations by keeping potentially flammable materials away from heat or ignition sources, such as electrical outlets, baseboards, radiators, HVAC vents, or even fireplaces (if a place of business has one). Electrical decorations should ideally be unplugged before everyone leaves prior to the end of the day or last shift.
Finally, the holiday season also sees a great deal of increased traffic, both vehicular and customer foot traffic. The rise in vehicular traffic puts workers who must drive as part of their job (especially delivery drivers) at an increased chance of being involved in an accident.
Increased customer foot traffic can pose a significant risk of accidents for retail workers, who may find themselves injured in mass crowds during days of massive sales and other times during the holiday season.
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Englewood, and all across New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
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