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Thinking about seasonal worker safety

‘Tis the season to hire holiday and winter-related seasonal workers. Across the nation, retailers, outdoor-based employers including ski slope operators and other seasonal businesses are hiring temporary and seasonal workers. Seasonal and temporary work can be enjoyable, rewarding and lucrative. However, it is vitally important that all employers of seasonal workers focus on safety as their new employees begin training and ultimately begin working.

We frequently write about the need for adequate and proper safety training for all workers. No matter what kind of job one is employed to do, the risk of workplace accidents is real. Thankfully, with proper safety training and other necessary safety precautions, the vast majority of preventable accidents can be avoided.

Employers need to present safety trainings to seasonal workers in languages they will understand. Those entrusted to train employees should focus on hazards that are generally present within a given workplace, as well as those that are present uniquely during the holiday or winter seasons.

Seasonal and temporary employees have the exact same right to a safe work environment as part-time and full-time employees do. And employers have the same obligations to provide a safe work environment for all employees. As a result, if a seasonal or temporary employer is failing to provide workers with a safe environment, affected workers should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney about their legal rights and options. Holding employers accountable for their negligent approach is sometimes the only way to ensure that other workers are not compelled to weather the same negligent treatment in the future.

Source: Insurance Journal, “‘Tis the Season for Workplace Safety,” Woody Hill, Nov. 7, 2014

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