Aside from the hustle and bustle in the streets, shopping malls, and gift shops, the holiday season entails some bigger problems pertaining to workplace safety risks. The statistics regarding fatal workplace injuries and accidents during this season have been on an upward trend due to a number of reasons.
A report by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that more than 12,000 people are treated for burns, shocks, cuts, and falls nationwide every year, which are caused from dried-out Christmas trees, faulty holiday lights, and other holiday decorations. Moreover, 300 fire breakouts are reported every year from Christmas trees, resulting in 40 injuries, 10 deaths, and approximately $7 million in property damage on average.
Here are some common causes that result in workplace accidents during the holiday season:
Added Work-related Stress
To meet yearly goals and keep up with the increasing production demands during the holiday season, many people usually work overtime and are also assigned additional responsibilities. As a result, they suffer from fatigue that hinders them to perform work-related activities effectively. Especially, the operators of heavy machinery are prone to fatal injuries as they are unable to focus on their work due to fatigue. Employees should ensure they take schedule breaks and get plenty of sleep to avoid making potential mistakes that may result in a life threatening injury.
Decorating the Workplace
The holiday season is one of the most profitable times and people decorate their business to attract as many customers as possible. However, when employees decorate the workplace, they are exposed to several falling and tripping hazards. The most commonly reported incident is slip and fall caused from falling off a ladder. Others include tripping over freestanding decorations, gifts, or trees placed in high traffic areas, which increase the chance of people running into them.
Decorating homes and businesses with bright, beautiful lights is one of the traditions of the holiday season. Unfortunately, they entail the great of risk fire breakout. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 1,650 people are injured and 400 are killed in fire-related incidents caused by Christmas lights every year. It is the duty of employers to ensure that the decorations at their workplace are safe for everyone. They must get an electrician to check all electrical outlets and ensure they are capable of withstanding the additional load. Moreover, they should make sure that no lights and other electrical decorations are unplugged.
As the holiday season comes closer, people try to finish their shopping as soon as possible, significantly increasing traffic on the roads. The heavy traffic puts the workers, especially those employed in the delivery and transportation industry, at added risk of meeting an accident.
The holiday season is a joyous period when people spend time with their family and friends, and take good memories to the next year. However, if you have been injured due to unsafe working environment at your workplace, you are entitled to get workers’ compensation benefits for all the damages. Contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers.