The winter holidays are a time for relaxation and gathering together with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, for some people, injuries put a damper on the holiday mood. While workplace injuries are generally most common in the summer, plenty of people get hurt on the job during the winter holiday season as well. There are several reasons why the end of the year presents special risks for workers in Florida.
While workers in some jobs may get to slow down around the winter holidays, for others, the holidays are the busiest season. Delivery truck drivers, retail store employees, postal workers, airline employees, bartenders, and restaurant waitstaff are just some of the workers who may be working extra hours around the end of the year. More time on the job means a greater chance of getting injured at work.
For workers who put in more hours around the holidays, the chances of being in an accident increase not only because they are spending more time in the workplace but also because they are often experiencing greater stress. They may be dealing with crowds of demanding shoppers, driving long hours delivering packages without a break, or in some other way trying to meet increased demands. The result is stress and fatigue, which makes people more accident-prone and more likely to injure themselves or others in their workplace.
Workplaces with increased demands during the holidays may bring in temporary or seasonal workers. These workers may not be familiar with the company’s safety procedures and may cause accidents that injure themselves and/or others.
Even workers who aren’t experiencing increased demands in their jobs may be feeling the stress of the season. A survey found that 62% of people said they felt stressed during the holidays. Financial concerns, family issues, gift buying, keeping up with social commitments, and hosting get-togethers can all cause stress that can bleed over into how people feel at work. Workers may be distracted and fatigued and more likely to cause careless accidents.
Being distracted by upcoming time off
On the days before workers are about to get time off for a holiday and/or vacation, they may start to mentally check out. They may be daydreaming about what they are going to do on their time off, or otherwise not paying their normal amount of attention to what they are doing on their jobs. They may make careless mistakes when handling dangerous equipment or forget to follow end-of-day safety procedures on their way out.
People in Florida don’t have to worry about driving in snow or walking on icy pavements, but they may still be affected by winter weather elsewhere. Weather problems that cause flight delays or cancellations anywhere in the country will affect flights arriving and departing from Florida, causing crowded airports and added stress for airline and airport workers. Long-distance truckers who get delayed by bad weather on their way to Florida may try to make up for lost time when they reach our state. They may speed and drive recklessly, endangering other drivers on the road. Weather problems elsewhere may also cause supply chain delays, creating backlogs of work in Florida’s factories and warehouses that may lead to increases in accidents.
Holiday decorations in the workplace can be fire hazards, especially if electrical circuits get overloaded, or lights and other decorations have frayed or otherwise unsafe cords.
Many people are out celebrating around the holidays and drive home while they are still under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They pose a risk to everyone else on the road, including workers who are driving as part of their jobs.
What You Can Do If You Are Injured on the Job During the Holiday Season
Most workers in Florida are eligible to apply for workers’ compensation insurance if they are injured in an accident on the job, no matter who was at fault for the accident. It’s important that you act quickly to report your injury to your employer and get any needed medical attention from an approved medical provider. Don’t put it off until after the holidays. Reporting the accident promptly will help preserve your right to receive workers’ compensation medical and wage benefits.
Unfortunately, the claims process is complicated. Also, many workers are unfairly turned down for benefits, or the benefits awarded are less than they should be. If you have any problems with your workers’ compensation claim, or you think you are not being treated fairly, a Florida workers compensation attorney can help. You should also talk to an attorney if your accident was caused by a third party, such as another driver in a traffic accident.
The attorneys at Van Dingenen Law are dedicated to helping people get all the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled to receive. Workers’ compensation is all that we do. Our knowledge, skill, and dedication have enabled us to recover millions of dollars for our clients. Every injured worker is important to us. Call us at 407-967-5377, or fill out the FREE CASE EVALUATION form for the legal help you need from an experienced Florida workers compensation attorney.