For retail employees, the holiday season means working extra long hours to meet the increased holiday demand. As a result, the chances of getting injured while on the job increase for various reasons, ranging from crushing crowds, fatigue, and other acts of negligence on the part of the employer. Below are some of the most common work injuries during holiday shopping events.
Common work injuries during the holiday shopping season
- Slips, trips, and falls: With the distracting hustle-and-bustle of extra activities during holiday shopping events, chances of getting injured while on the job are often high. Retail workers may trip over holiday lighting on the floor, fall on merchandise, or hastily use unsteady equipment when hanging decorations. But these are not the only known causes of slip, trip and fall accidents. Poor lighting, freshly-mopped floors, torn carpets, and floor polish are also known culprits.
- Parking lot injuries: Parking lot accidents and injuries are more prevalent than most people think. According to a recent poll, parking lot accidents are responsible for more than 50,000 crashes annually, resulting in 60,000 injuries and up to 500 deaths each year. With thousands of shoppers rushing in and around retail store parking lots, these accidents tend to spike during Black Friday and other holiday shopping events. That means it’s not unusual for retail workers to get knocked over as shoppers exit parking, cut through the lot or run the stop signs. Luckily, you may be able to recover compensation as long as the accident happened with the course and scope of your employment.
- Workplace violence-related injuries: Retail workers face the threat of violence every day. However, acts of violence often increase during Black Friday and other massive sales events due to large crowds of shoppers and the consequent lack of control that employees may have over their work environment. Whether it includes verbal abuse, stealing, bullying, harassment, or fistfights, violence in the retail workplace can result in serious injuries.
- Winter hazards injuries: In the U.S., the biggest commercial holiday shopping events take place in the winter months. During this time, snow, ice, and rain can make it easy for workers to miss or misjudge a step when walking or working outdoors. Slippery road conditions can also cause accidents and injuries. While all retail workers are expected to exercise extra caution while working outdoors, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe working environment at all times. This will often involve promptly removing ice from the working or walking areas and providing adequate mats to stop snow and water from being brought inside working areas.
Common causes of work injuries during holiday shopping events
There are several factors that can cause workplace injuries during the holiday shopping season. Some of these include:
- Stress and fatigue: Given the additional responsibilities and tasks that come with holiday shopping events, workers are more likely to get fatigued. As a result, they may doze off and get injured while working, especially if their job involves high risk activities, such as operating a work vehicle or machine.
- Doorbuster deals: Doorbuster sales are another cause of workplace injuries. According to a Black Friday Death Count, over 12 people have died due to Black Friday “doorbuster” sales, and another 117 have been injured for the same reason.
- Employer negligence: It’s an employer’s legal obligation to ensure a safe work environment for all employees. In other words, every store owner must take certain safety precautions as per OSHA guidelines to avoid the risk of injury during the holiday shopping events. Sadly, negligence on the employer’s part is among the leading causes of work injuries during this season.
Contact an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney
Regardless of what caused your work injury, a skilled Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your legal options and work with you to help you recover the benefits you deserve from your employer. Give us a call today at (561) 566-5598 to learn how we can help.