With summer approaching, millions of students will be heading to their summer jobs. For some it will be their first work experience, but for most it will be a short-term way to make some money before heading back to school in the fall.
Students are not the only ones who work as seasonal summer employees. Teachers and retirees often take advantage of the summer months to earn extra income.
However, many summertime workers are expected to hit the ground running, with little to no job or safety training. This may be problematic, since summer employees often find themselves in the fields of hospitality, landscaping, construction, or lifeguarding.
The labor-intensive nature of these positions, combined with the lack of safety protocol, can lead to devastating injuries, such as:
Second or third-degree sunburn
Machinery and heavy equipment injuries
Workers Compensation Claims and Seasonal Employees
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance program that provides medical benefits and other monetary compensation to those injured in the workplace. Almost all employers are required to carry this insurance. Once an employer is covered, all regular employees of that company are entitled to benefits, including seasonal employees.
Although Workers’ Compensation is an effective way for an employee to receive the financial aid necessary to recover from their injuries, employers still have a responsibility to keep employees safe, before an injury occurs.
Summer Employee Training
Due to the lack of training associated with seasonal employment, it makes sense that insurance companies report increased Workers’ Compensation claims during the summer months.
Employers can do their part to keep their seasonal employees safe, by providing thorough on-the-job training for every new employee. Training should include the safe operation of any necessary tools and equipment, and a review all safety procedures.
For those that work in dangerous environments or outdoors, training should include First Aid and how to recognize and avoid heat related injuries.
Employees who work in high temperatures should have access to cool drinking water and a work-rest schedule to allow for frequent breaks in cool, ventilated areas.
For those that work in construction or other manual labor fields, proper safety equipment should be provided for every employee.
Steps to Take If Injured on the Job
Should an injury occur, it is important for seasonal workers to know what to do. Below are the initial steps to take, in order to remain eligible for a Workers’ Compensation claim:
Seek medical attention as soon as possible
Notify your supervisor or employer immediately
Fill out the Workers’ Compensation claim form
See the doctor designated by your Workers’ Compensation insurance company
If an employer fails to report your injury to their insurance company, or denies your claim, consult with a Florida workplace injury lawyer as soon as possible.