Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Workplace injuries prevalent over the holiday season

The holiday shopping season brings numerous workplace hazards in a range of industries nationwide, including California. Safety authorities urge employers to take precautions to keep employees safe from workplace injuries. While the focus of most people might be on the increased levels of merchandise to satisfy the needs of the millions of customers, additional risks are present along the supply chain.

The start of that chain is in the warehouse or fulfillment center, where workers with increased workloads risk musculoskeletal disorders from lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling heavy objects. Forklifts in these facilities pose significant hazards to the operators of the machines and the workers on the floor. This is a time when workers are often rushed to get jobs done as quickly as possible, which could lead to the disregard of safety standards.

From the warehouses, the trucking industry takes over. Big rig operators must transport the merchandise to the stores within tight deadlines, often risking their lives and the lives of other road users. Environmental hazards like snow, slippery roads and black ice exacerbate the dangers they face.

Next in line are the retail workers, many of them with little or no experience and who are young, seasonal or temporary workers. Many employers are so focused on profits at this time of the year that they lose sight of employee safety. Victims of workplace injuries are typically eligible for benefits through the California workers' compensation insurance program. An attorney with experience in this field can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the benefits claims process.

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