Most people love being able to spend time with their family, and one of the easiest ways to go about this is by working the graveyard shift. After all, a person can work while their family sleeps, get home in time to send the children off to school, sleep while everyone is handling their daily responsibilities and then be awake when everyone finally gets home. Unfortunately, some late-night shifts can also present a few dangers to those who work them. This is definitely something a person caring for a family should consider before signing up for a graveyard shift.
Graveyard Shift Injuries
It’s common knowledge that an accident can occur at any time during a person’s workday. This is obvious simply by looking at statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While there are nearly 13 work-related deaths every single day in America, there are also almost four million serious injuries suffered by those simply doing their jobs. What many graveyard shifters don’t realize, however, is that their chances of being injured are even greater than most.
A study out of the University of Minnesota found that those who work late-night shifts are more likely to be injured than their daytime-working colleagues. As it turns out, occupational injuries occurred more often in those who worked during the evenings and nights. Also, there was a substantial increase in violence-related injuries for those who worked night shifts. The last finding, which wasn’t a surprise considering the first two, was that the typical nighttime worker needed, on average, an additional week of disability time per year.
The website of a Charleston workers compensation lawyer states, “When you are injured on the job in South Carolina, you are likely covered under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (hereinafter “the Act”) whether it is your fault, the employer’s fault or no one’s fault. Those hurt at work are covered if they have a slip, trip, fall or other accident at work and are also covered even if their injuries are caused by repetitive trauma at work (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome caused by constant use of the hands and arms while using a grinder at work).”
If you are injured on the job you should take the appropriate steps and receive immediate care for your injuries and compensation for your loss, if necessary.
Handling the Situation
One of the main appeals to people who love working graveyard shifts is the solitude that often comes along with it. Unfortunately, this can also present a problem if an individual sustains an injury at work. After all, if there is only one person on duty, it’s not as if they can yell for help. In graveyard shift situations, a person should always keep their cell phone on them. If they suffer an injury that isn’t life-threatening, they should quickly call their employer to alert them of the situation.
Contacting one’s boss will allow them to get someone up and into the office so it’s not left empty while a person seeks medical help. Additionally, an injured worker’s immediate reporting to their employer of the accident covers them if a worker’s compensation dispute arises. After this point, it’s important to either drive to a hospital or call for medical help. The choice in this situation will depend greatly upon the gravity of the injury.
Complicated Worker’s Comp Claims
Unfortunately, injuries on the graveyard shift can present many more problems than simply not having someone to reach for in the event of an accident. If a person files a worker’s compensation claim, which they always should after being injured, there will likely be no witnesses as there often are in most daytime injury cases. A person’s best chance in this situation is that a security camera caught the accident on tape.
Regardless of the specific difficulty one faces, however, they should immediately contact a worker’s compensation attorney. These legal professionals are often adept at handling hard-to-prove claims, and if it can be shown that a worker’s comp insurer is acting in “bad faith,” these attorneys may be able to get the injured person substantially more than their injury would have initially been worth.
Many people absolutely adore working graveyard shifts, but if they’re not careful, they could easily sustain a serious injury. Additionally, the threat of violence goes up at these hours, so whether a freak accident or an intentional act causes an injury, it’s important for an individual to know how to handle it. The aforementioned tips can go a long way in handling late-night accidents, and even if one is injured and faces difficulties collecting worker’s comp, the right legal professional could be able to assist in getting the compensation that they deserve.
While researching work injuries, Teresa Stewart discovered that the city of Charleston employs a significant workforce in the manufacturing industry which works around the clock. She was able to gather research for this article by reviewing the website of local Charleston workers compensation lawyer, Howell and Christmas, LLC.
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Tags: Workers Compensation Law
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