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Seasonal Businesses See Risk of Workers’ Comp Spike During Summer

When we think about summer, it often conjures up nostalgic thoughts of eating ice cream by the shore or enjoying a hot dog at the ballpark. And while these types of seasonal businesses see an increase in revenue during the summer months, they also see an increased risk of workers’ comp claims.

According to AmTrust Financial Services’ “Restaurant Risk Report, June, July, and August see the highest reported number of restaurant workers’ comp accidents.  This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the industry’s workforce almost doubles in a number of employees, many of whom are less experienced and more likely to make mistakes.

Summer Employees Are Less Experienced

Senior Vice President of AmTrust, Matthew Zender, agrees. “If you’re bringing somebody in and they’re only working for you from June to August, they’re not going to be as familiar with the operation, and they also don’t have much loyalty toward the firm.” He explains that workers who are working for the same employer year-round may be more likely to allow for an injury to work itself out over time, as compared to seasonal workers, who may be more likely to bring a claim since they are near the end of the season.

Based upon Farmers Insurance claims data, in general, 10 percent of the U.S. workforce is in the restaurant industry, 25 percent of annual workers’ comp claims are by restaurants, and 26 percent of those claims are filed during the summer months. Over one-quarter of the workers’ comp claims filed by restaurants during the summer is due to punctures, cuts, and scrapes.

Preventing Injuries

Luckily, there are some things that restaurants can do to mitigate their risk. This includes:

  • Ensuring that the location of all knives is known or properly labeled for its specific, intended use
  • Ensuring that all employees have been properly trained on cutting food safely and correctly
  • Ensuring that all cutting boards are slip-free (or secured)

According to the report, on average, an injured employee in the restaurant industry will take about 30 days to return to work, although it appears that the nature of their job plays a large role. If their job is based on tips, they are more likely to return more quickly than if not. Injuries to hands and wrists account for the most lost days of work at 265 days.

What may be surprising to some people is that according to the report, cafes and coffee shops generally see the most lost time by 45% compared to other types of restaurants. This is likely due to the fact that cafes and coffee shops tend to be smaller, though they still cater to large crowds. This often makes employees rush to get everyone served, which can lead to careless or negligent mistakes.

If you have been injured on the job, Carter Mario Law Firm can help you receive the workers’ comp that you need. If you have questions, call us at tel: (203) 806-9256 or fill out a  free consultation form online.

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