Like hundreds of thousands of Americans, you may have taken on an extra job over the holidays. It seems like a win for everyone – the companies have extra hands during the busiest season of the year, and you get some extra funds to make your holiday celebrations special.
However, the industries that hire extra workers are also some of the industries that have the most risk for workplace accidents and injuries. In 2018, over 40,000 Pennsylvanian employees in the trade, transportation and utilities industries filed worker’s compensation claims. The most common reasons were strains and sprains, a huge concern due to the higher than average workloads during the holiday seasons. Research suggests that temporary or seasonal workers have an increased chance of becoming injured on the job.
Why do seasonal workers have a higher risk?
OSHA points to the lack of full training for temporary employees. After all, companies do not always have the time or manpower to implement a full training program during the holiday rush. Even worse, some companies do not seem to think that it is worth the bother. Why invest resources in training employees who will not be with the company long term?
This is short-sighted, as temporary or seasonal workers legally must receive the same protections as full-time workers. If you take on a seasonal job, advocate for yourself to receive appropriate training – especially for any machinery with which you do not have experience. If you have concerns that your workplace in engaging in unsafe practices and will retaliate against you for reporting the violation, consult with a legal representative about the most appropriate next steps.
Are seasonal workers eligible for workers’ compensation in the state of Pennsylvania?
If a company employs seasonal or temporary workers directly, they have the same right as full-time workers to claim workers’ compensation in the unfortunate event of an injury on the job. However, if the temporary employee works for a company through a contract agency or another temp placement agency, the temp agency’s policies will take priority.