With the holidays among us, many people are picking up an additional job or extra shifts at work to cover their holiday expenses. Thankfully so, as many companies need more workers through the holidays to keep up with the increased level of production and demand. If you’ve been classified as a seasonal worker, you may be wondering about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been injured on the job.
The good news is, regardless of your job classification – full-time or a temporary seasonal worker – you have the same right to file for workers’ compensation under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
Anyone who owns a business in Pennsylvania and has workers, are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees.
The Rush is on For Seasonal Workers
Seasonal work means a shorter window of time for workers to get their job done. Rushing to meet demand can often result in mistakes, sloppy work habits, accidents, and of course – injuries.
Job tasks, along with the tools used, and the environment in which a worker operates all comes into play for seasonal workers at risk of injury. These include:
- Manual handling – lifting, bending, pivoting, repetitive motion
- Forceful exertions – to lift heavy or awkward objects
- Highly repetitive motions with short work cycles – working on an assembly line
- Mechanical contact stress from work positions or handling of tools and equipment – continually bent over while work on an assembly line or handling a job that requires repetitive movements
- High levels of ambient noise – working in a factory or on an assembly line
- Work performed around operating machinery – getting hair, clothing, or body parts caught in the moving machinery
Some of the more common injuries sustained by seasonal workers include:
- Broken bones
- Muscle Strains
- Back pain
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Shoulder and neck injuries
- Pelvic and hip injuries
Transportation and Warehouse Worker Injuries
The big demand when it comes to workers throughout the holidays lies within the transportation and warehouse industries, where production is ramped up to meet the demands of holiday shoppers. With the increase in workers comes an increase in injuries. In fact, just last year, transportation and warehousing saw nearly 253,100 reportable injury cases – up from 206,900 cases the year before.
Some reasons for the spike in injuries these past few years include:
- Increasing Demand Online sales are soaring as more and more people are skipping the brick-and-mortar store to opt for the more convenient and safer way of shopping.
- A Lack of Training With the lack of workers and the rush to fulfill orders, training is being cut down or skipped altogether. When this happens, the risk for injuries increases dramatically.
- Employee Fatigue Workers are often asked to stay longer or pick up extra shifts to compensate for the lack of employees. Tired workers have slower reaction times and aren’t as attentive to details which can also lead to an increased risk of injury.
Injured as a Seasonal Worker?
In order to obtain workers’ comp benefits, you have to follow the same procedure every other regular time employee must follow. Immediately following your injury, you want to report it to your employer. You have 21 days from the date of the accident to tell your employer in order to receive your benefits.
After day 21, you may still report your injury; however, benefit eligibility begins on the date you report the accident, not the date the accident happened. Legally, you have 120 days from the date of your injury or illness to file a claim injury report with your employer, however, if you wait too long, you could lose out on your compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in York, Pa.
The workers’ compensation process can seem overwhelming at times. If you are injured on the job, you should get an experienced York, PA workers’ comp lawyer on your side to handle the details for you. It’s especially important to reach out to an attorney if your employer refuses to submit your injury report, which is against the law, or if your employer denies responsibility for your injury, which may require you to file a claim petition. To ensure your rights are protected, get in touch to speak with an attorney.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, but especially those working in industries that are in high demand. It is important to remain diligent and safe while on the job. If you should find yourself injured, we are here to help and support workers following on-the-job injuries. We offer free consultations and never collect a fee until we win for you.