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Why are the holidays so hazardous for temporary retail workers?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2023 | Workplace Injuries |

During the holiday season, retail stores, warehouses and delivery services get busy – and may get way too busy for their regular staff. Amazon, UPS, and countless others hire tens of thousands (or more) temporary workers to meet the holiday demands.

Unfortunately, temp workers are uniquely vulnerable to serious on-the-job injuries. At least one analysis indicates that temporary employees are anywhere from 36% to 72% more likely to be injured on the job than regular employees. What’s behind this trend?

The workload is intense

Holiday temp workers get thrown into the fray at a time when there’s a huge surge in holiday shopping activity, so that means they have no time to adjust to the workload. They may find themselves going from “no work activity” to long hours, extended shifts and a fast-paced environment. The mental and physical fatigue can easily cause a worker to make mistakes that lead to serious injuries.

The training can be nonexistent

Safety training is often an afterthought among employers who are desperate for holiday help. Temp workers are often given minimal instruction and simply expected to pick things up as they go. The lack of familiarity with the work environment can increase the risk of accidents.

There’s competition among workers

A lot of temp workers hope to get picked up by their holiday employer for a regular, permanent position. That can lead temp workers to take risks and overwork themselves in an effort to impress their bosses. Skipping breaks and working to the point of exhaustion can easily increase the risk of injury.

When temporary workers get injured, they sometimes get into a trap where neither the temp company that they used to find work nor the company where they actually worked wants to take responsibility. That can cause delays with medical care and other benefits. If your workers’ comp claim isn’t going the way it should, know that seeking legal assistance can make all the difference.