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Taking precautions during holiday season may reduce injuries

During the holiday season in Illinois, many stores hire temporary employees to keep up with the increased number of shoppers. Employees may work additional hours and have an increased workload as they deliver purchases to customers, stock shelves and sell merchandise. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers to ensure that precautions are taken to keep workers safe and that the proper steps are taken to make sure that employees are paid the correct amount on payday.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the additional hours and increased workload may increase the stress of employees, which may lead to declines in health. The NIOSH study reported that in 2016, 24 percent of employees said that their work interferes with their family and personal obligations. This stress may lead to injuries while on the job.

Due to this increased risk, OSHA is asking employers to do their part to decrease stress by helping manage store crowds with barricades and assistance from trained safety personnel. Additionally, management should continually check over the store for any safety hazards that are present and take care of them promptly. Doing so may help prevent on-the-job injuries from occurring.

Temporary employees who are hired during the holiday season have the same rights to a safe workplace and fair pay as regular employees. When a workplace accident occurs, employees have the option to file a claim for workers' compensation or file a civil suit against the employer to receive compensation for their medical care and lost wages. In order to file a civil suit, the employer must have acted negligently. A lawyer may be able to determine whether a workers' compensation claim or civil suit is the best option to help an injured worker receive compensation for his or her injury.

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