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Retail employers can take steps to protect employees

Retail sales increase during the holidays, and many retailers bring on extra help to deal with the holiday rush. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put out a reminder to employers to pay attention to worker safety in New Jersey and all over the country. The acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA said that employers should focus on the responsibilities they have to protect their employees during the holiday season. Employees might find their workdays getting longer and their duties expanded as retailers attempt to make the most of holiday sales.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the reduced sleep and lessened family time that go with working extra hours might have a significant negative impact on the health of employees. Twenty-four percent of American workers said in 2016 that required work time consistently caused interference with family and personal duties. When workers are called upon to spend more hours working, they may pay less attention to working safely, as stress and fatigue can make them less attentive. This can increase the risk of injury from slips and falls or lifting heavy items.

According to NIOSH, stress from additional work can have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of employees. Employers can address safety hazards in the workplace by managing sales crowds and training or hiring safety personnel. NIOSH also recommends develop emergency protocols.

Employees who are injured at work may be able to bring claims for workers' compensation. The New Jersey workers' compensation system typically does not require a showing of wrongdoing or negligence on the part of the employer; it is enough that the employee was injured at work. An attorney who works with injured employees might be able to help by preparing the claim or by communicating with officials during workers' compensation hearings.

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