Ensuring the safety of retail workers over the holidays

| Dec 5, 2018 | Workers Compensation

Retail workers in New Jersey, as elsewhere, will be stocking shelves, packing boxes and delivering products at greater speed during the holiday season, and this could raise their risk for injuries due to slips, falls and excessive manual lifting. For this reason, OSHA is reminding employers about their duties to their employees.

Those with expanded work schedules are especially prone to workplace stress. Though they may benefit from the extra pay they earn, this comes at the price of less sleep and less time with family. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 24 percent of U.S. employees in 2016 reported that work interfered with their ability to meet personal and family obligations.

With workplace stress comes a decrease in attention, especially when it comes to safe practices. It can also negatively affect mental health. NIOSH advises employers to have a plan in place that helps reduce workers’ anxiety and makes them feel safe, supported and confident. With that, employees can respond accordingly to hazardous situations.

Employers must also implement the proper crowd control measures and emergency procedures, such as barricades and rope lines, when faced with large crowds during sales events. This will help keep employees out of harm’s way. Lastly, OSHA reminds employees that temporary and seasonal employees have a right to a safe workplace as well.

Not all injuries will be avoidable, of course, but in such cases, victims can file for workers’ compensation benefits and be covered for their medical expenses and for a portion of their lost income. Filing for these will waive victims’ right to sue their employer in the future. Victims may also need to prove that the injuries they report are work-related, which is why it’s important to have a lawyer. A lawyer could also mount an appeal if the claim is denied.

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