Workplace Dangers for Night and Shift Workers
Regardless of whether your idea of employment involves a regular schedule with a specified salary amount and a job that takes place primarily if not entirely during daylight hours, the reality is that not everyone works from 9 to 5. Many American workers make a living at jobs where they work overnight or where they work shifts that often rotate and can extend long past an amount of time that is reasonable. Unfortunately, night and shift workers face their own unique workplace dangers that they have to attempt to avoid in order to return safely home to their families.
What Are Examples of Typical Night and Shift Employees?
- Hospital workers
- Long haul truckers
- Police officers
- Fast food workers
- Food delivery couriers
- Toll booth operators
- Factory laborers
What Example of the Kind of Workplace Injuries That Can Occur to These Workers Was Recently in the News?
Bay News 9 recently reported that a Pinellas County toll booth worker had to be hospitalized after being knocked to the ground by a vehicle on I-75 at the Skyway Toll Plaza. The accident reportedly occurred because the 26-year-old driver of a pickup truck failed to stop to allow the toll worker to cross the pedestrian crosswalk after being instructed to do so by other workers. The driver fled the scene of the accident before being apprehended by authorities and the worker went to a local hospital with minor injuries.
How Dangerous Are Workplace Conditions For Night and Shift Workers?
The risk is clearly there. For example, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, accident and injury rates are eighteen percent higher during evening shifts and 30 percent higher during night shifts when compared to day shifts. Similarly, working twelve or more hours a day is associated with a 37 percent increase in the risk of injury.
What Are the Risks of Workplace Injury For Night and Shift Workers?
Night and shift workers can face slightly different challenges, but also share some that overlap. These positions often share risk factors such as:
- Fatigue. These kinds of jobs can involve late nights and long shifts that cause irregular sleep patterns. It is well-documented that a fatigued worker is more likely to make a mistake at work that can lead to an injury.
- Inadequate supervision and training. Because of the more relaxed aspect that can be present at a workplace at night and during an extended shift, rules and safety procedures may not be followed by supervisory staff the way they should.
How Can Night and Shift Workers Obtain Benefits After a Workplace Injury?
On a positive note, a worker who is injured at work during the course of employment can typically obtain workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical expenses that are incurred due to a workplace accident. Depending on the severity of the injury and how long it lasts, these benefits may be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis.
Have You Been Injured While Working as a Night or Shift Worker?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working as a night or shift worker, we can help. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.