Injured Worker on a Gurmey About to Be Loaded onto an AmbulanceIf you work in healthcare, education, manufacturing, food service, or retail, you are probably noticing a significant staffing shortage. The Great Resignation of 2021 has affected many workplaces, forcing those who remain to take on additional duties and more stress. This creates a dangerous combination of exhausted employees, lapses in safety compliance, and careless errors being made. The accidents and injuries that result could lead to workers’ compensation claims—and a workforce even more depleted.

How Understaffing Leads to Injury

If your workplace is understaffed, you don’t need me to point out you are working harder and ending each shift in exhaustion. This could cause you to suffer injuries that prevent you from returning to work. Other dangers posed by an understaffed workplace include:

  • More mistakes. Gaps in workplace responsibility and overtired workers lead to a higher rate of errors with heavy machinery, moving cargo, security protocols, and more. Whether the worker shortage means that people are doing jobs they are not trained to do or that trained workers are too rushed to do the job right, careless mistakes can lead to serious injuries.
  • Lapses in safety protocols. Doing a dangerous job safely requires time, supervision, inspections, and enforcement of OSHA protocols. A thin workforce could mean that several of these steps are skipped, endangering those doing the job and others in the workplace.
  • Disgruntled customers and patients. Longer wait times and less personalized service can make customers in restaurants and stores and patients in hospitals angry and aggressive. We’ve all seen videos of the abuse airline workers have taken from disgruntled passengers. Violent clients and customers are a big threat to worker safety, and worker shortages could mean a reduction in security personnel who might have previously been there to protect you.
  • More accidents. Rushing to fill gaps in personnel, cutting corners to save time, physical exhaustion, and emotional stress create the worst-case scenario for workplace accidents such as falls, vehicle crashes, sprains & strains, machinery & tool mishaps, and more.

It’s a mystery to me how so many people have been able to quit their jobs and leave their former employers short-staffed. You might be wondering the same thing, but here you are, sticking it out and putting in your hours. If you end up injured and unable to work because of the stress and strain of your job, you can file for workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Is No-Fault Insurance

If you are injured at work, you might blame your employer for lapses in safety protocols or working you too hard. Or your employer might blame you for working too fast or making a careless error. However, it doesn’t matter what caused the workplace accident that left you injured. No matter what happened, you may have workers’ compensation to cover your medical bills and lost wages. Given these tough economic times, your employer might be more worried than ever about saving money, but that’s no excuse for pressuring you not to file for workers’ comp or threatening to fire you if you do.

Part-Time and Temp Workers Are Also Covered

A big misconception among workers and some employers is that you are only covered by workers’ comp if you are a full-time, permanent employee. This is untrue. Part-time, minimum wage, holiday temp, work-study—it doesn’t matter. If you are injured at work, you can file for workers’ compensation in Ohio.

Have Problems or Questions? Contact Monast Law Office

I hope your workers’ comp claim goes smoothly, and you get the benefits you need to recover fully after an injury in a short-staffed workplace. If this is not your experience, you might need the help of a workers’ comp attorney. At Monast Law Office, our entire team will work hard to protect your rights to the benefits you deserve. Reach out to our office to speak to a real person today. We will listen to your story and tell you if we think we can help.

 

James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
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