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Improving retail worker conditions during the holidays

Retail workers in Georgia, including both permanent and temporary ones, are often the busiest during the holiday season. OSHA is reminding company owners to protect retail workers' safety and pay during the annual holiday rush. After all, this is the time of year when customer traffic typically increases, which can boost the potential for work-related injuries. Part-time workers may also have issues with receiving proper compensation, especially from retailers not accustomed to routinely hiring seasonal workers.

Long workdays, overtime hours and expanded schedules can also contribute to increased stress and fatigue as people lose sleep and sacrifice time with their families. Workplace stress also increases the risk of individuals sustaining the type of injuries that commonly lead to workers' compensation claims and days missed from work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stresses the importance of making retail workers feel safe and supported in various environments.

For instance, employers can keep workers out of harm's way by managing crowds with ropes or barricades. Holiday-related workplace safety hazards, such as slippery floors, also need to be promptly addressed to minimize injury risks for customers and retail workers, according to the agency. NIOSH also recommends that temporary or seasonal employees receive proper training specific to emergency procedures and workplace safety since all retail workers have the right to expect a safe and healthy workplace. Retail employers are additionally urged to be mindful of pay rates, particularly if overtime is involved, so that all employees receive the correct compensation.

Retail workers who are injured on the job, whether their status is temporary or permanent, are able to file for workers' compensation if the injuries they sustain are serious or debilitating. All individuals who are injured on the job are normally entitled to payment of their medical bills. However, if an employer denies a valid claim, an attorney may be able to build a solid appeal to present to the state's board of workers' compensation. Temporary workers also have the option of hiring a lawyer if they are struggling to receive their full earned wages from a retail employer.

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