‘Tis the season when employers intensify their efforts to recruit seasonal employees to help manage the chaos that comes with this time of year. These indispensable employees provide invaluable assistance to handle the surge in demand. However, heightened risks and challenges lie beneath the festive surface.
Are Seasonal Employees Covered by Workers' Compensation?
Many employers find themselves uncertain about the eligibility of seasonal employees for workers’ compensation. Whether individuals are hired specifically for the holidays or work year-round, they’re entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits. In the event of an injury, seasonal employees receive the necessary medical treatment and compensation for lost wages during their recovery period. Additionally, seasonal workers are not required to fulfill a specific length of employment to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Culprits Behind Seasonal Employee Injuries
Rookie Inexperience: The holidays creep up on businesses quickly, leaving little time to properly train seasonal employees on essential safety measures. This rush and lack of time can heighten the risk of accidents and injuries, particularly in jobs demanding specialized skills and safety protocols.
Fleeting Commitment: Seasonal employment is a temporary gig, and many of these workers neglect the significance of safety practices. This casual attitude toward safety procedures can directly contribute to a surge in accidents.
The Holiday Frenzy: The holiday season can be an exhausting marathon as companies go full throttle to chase peak sales. In the maddening rush, workloads skyrocket, creating a fast-paced and high-stress environment, ripe for accidents and injuries.
Fatigue Takes Its Toll: With long hours and ever-shifting schedules the norm, it’s not surprising weary workers feel the strain. The irregularity can elevate the chance of accidents stemming from exhaustion. Fatigue can impair judgment and coordination, increasing the likelihood of otherwise preventable injuries.
Turbulent Training: The fast-paced holiday season often leaves seasonal workers unequipped to handle the chaos. Many are thrown into a craze with inadequate training, leaving them ill-prepared for safety procedures that are crucial for a secure workplace.
Revolving Door of New Faces: Seasonal employees come and go as demand rises and falls. This upheaval disrupts regular safety training and procedures, creating challenges in maintaining a safe work environment.
Physical Strain & Sprain: Seasonal hires are often brought on board for roles that entail physically demanding tasks. These laborers are at higher risk of strains, sprains and other physical injuries.
Weather-Induced Exposures: Industries such as transportation, manufacturing and construction expose workers to unpredictable risks associated with the elements. Employees are more likely to suffer frostbite or falls from rain or snow-induced slippery surfaces.
Equipment Inexperience: Temporary workers may find themselves grappling with machinery and equipment they’ve never encountered before. Without prior experience, they’re susceptible to accidents and injuries.
Strategies to Keep Seasonal Employees Safe from Injuries
Don’t let the looming threat of worker injuries dampen your seasonal business. By following some simple prevention measures, your organization can protect workers and avoid workers’ compensation claims. Here are some key steps to take:
- Provide seasonal workers with comprehensive training, equipping them with the safety protocols and procedures they need to stay safe on the job.
- Take a proactive approach by overseeing and monitoring temporary workers, quickly addressing any safety concerns.
- Foster a culture of safety in the workplace, making it a priority for all employees, regardless of their status.
- Ensure every employee has appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and knows how to use it properly.
- Combat workplace fatigue by implementing policies that encourage regular breaks and address exhaustion.
- Maintain meticulous records of work-related accidents and injuries, ensuring workers’ compensation claims are handled efficiently and appropriately.
- Secure workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for on-the-job injuries, even for seasonal workers.
We’re Here to Help Shield Against Seasonal Employee Exposures
Seasonal employees are frequently inexperienced yet have significant responsibilities in high-pressure situations. Employers must uphold a safety culture, particularly during the holiday season, to safeguard workers against accidents and injuries. By effectively addressing these challenges and implementing proactive measures, you can adequately prepare for possible liability claims and minimize the potential repercussions of workers' compensation claims. For additional information regarding the risks faced by seasonal employees and preventive measures, connect with a member of our team.