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Avoiding Seasonal Hazards on the Job

Seasonal HazardsCalifornia is known for its mild weather conditions, even in the autumn and winter seasons. Although there are not as many accidents involving driving and icy or snowy conditions as in other states, winter still involves additional hazards, specifically in regards to workplace safety. This is especially true for employees who work with the large crowds and extra shifts that holiday shopping entails. This makes it extremely important that both employees and employers take extra precautions during the winter season to prevent injury.

Occupational Hazards

Certain types of employment are more apt to involve workplace hazards during the winter months. Accidents occur most often during the holiday season in the following locations:

  • Warehouses;
  • Transit centers; and
  • Retail spaces.

Employment that requires activity in these types of locations often involves moving large portions of stock in the months of November and December. This leads to high traffic from shoppers and seasonal employees, as well as overly-stocked shelves, both of which create a higher risk of accident. For example, carrying heavy boxes and pallets can lead to serious back and neck strains that may cause permanent damage. Additionally, water that is tracked into stores due to rainy conditions can cause a slipping hazard for both employees and customers. These types of injuries in slip and fall accidents can lead to broken bones, concussions, and bruises.

Avoiding Injury

Even though retailers are under a significant amount of pressure to transport their stock quickly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests that business inspect delivery and stocking systems routinely, even if it ultimately decreases sales slightly.

Managers are also encouraged to make safety a priority during peak sales periods. This requires extra vigilance in employee-only areas as well as in public areas like aisles and check-out lanes. Methods for avoiding injury include:

  • Keeping boxes, pallets, and any clutter out of aisles and other busy walkways;
  • In rainy weather, ensuring that wet floors are dried immediately and that caution signs are posted in problem areas;
  • Providing employees with nonskid shoes; and
  • Investing in flooring surfaces that contain grit to increase friction.
Recovering Damages

Those who are injured in the workplace or at a business may have several avenues of recovery. Customers and contractors can recover damages for their injuries if the business or employer was negligent in protecting workers’ and patrons’ safety. They may be able to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

An employee who is injured while working may have the right to collect medical benefits through workers’ compensation. Collection of medical benefits for workplace injuries under this type of claim does not require a showing of negligence by the injured party. Employees may be able to recover remuneration for temporary disability, medical treatment, permanent disability, and vocational rehabilitation. As an alternative or in addition, workers may also file a third-party lawsuit for compensation, depending upon the circumstances of the injury.

If you have been injured while at work, it is vital that you retain an attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Please contact the skilled San Jose workplace injury attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. for a free consultation at (408) 289-1417.

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