The workforce is constantly evolving in order to adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic. In recent years, employees have been quitting their jobs at a record setting pace. As a result, companies are facing labor shortages and desperately hiring in attempt to fill the gap. With new and inexperienced workers, there is an increased risk for injury. The same can be said for understaffed companies with overworked employees.
The Great Resignation
The pandemic completely changed the workforce and many companies are struggling to retain their workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million workers quit their job in March 2022. We have now entered into a period that many are referring to as “The Great Resignation.” It is a difficult place to be in for businesses, as they now have to construct new methods and strategies that will ensure their employees are happy and want to stay working there. With a great number of employees leaving their jobs, companies are left to deal with a multitude of problems.
From being understaffed and working longer hours, to figuring out how to train new hires, to making sure the business stays afloat — there are plenty of adjustments, challenges, and changes that companies are trying to navigate.
Inexperience Leads to a Higher Chance of Injury
Businesses are putting out their “help wanted” signs and desperately hiring in attempt to lift the load off of their overworked employees. Having extra hands can be helpful, but it can also bring along several challenges. For instance, new employees lack experience, which puts them at a higher risk of suffering from an injury on the job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, more than one-third of non-fatal work relates injuries in 2019 happened to employees who had been in their current position for less than a year.
It is very common for new hires to jump into their roles with little time to understand the process of how everything works. Their lack of knowledge and inexperience often results in a serious injury. The worst part is, the injury is usually a simple and avoidable mistake. However, since the employer chose to not train their new hires properly, they now find themselves in this unfortunate situation. It is crucial companies are emphasizing the importance of teaching new hires the correct way to do things, no matter how busy they may be.
Understaffed Workplace Increases the Chance of Injury
Companies that struggle to hire new workers are left in a very difficult position. Their remaining employees are forced to pick up the slack, with additional responsibilities that don’t necessarily fall under their job title. Longer hours, lack of sleep, and increased stress levels can hurt the overall mental health and well being of employees. All of the following contributes to an increased risk of being injured while on the job.
Lack of sleep impacts how we function, both physically and mentally. Brain fog is a common occurrence when you aren’t getting enough rest at night. Brain fog is described as a feeling of not being able to have full mental clarity. This can be very frustrating, especially when you’re at work and have a lot to get done. Since your brain is not operating at its highest capacity, your productivity levels and the tasks you accomplish throughout the day will be lower than you’d like.
Physically, your body is not as alert as it would be with a good night of sleep. Therefore, the chance of making a clumsy mistake is higher and this often leads to an injury on the job. It is so important that employees have enough time to take care of themselves and get the proper sleep they need.
What can Business Owners Do to Increase Safety?
The question to ask is, “What can businesses owners do during this time to increase safety for both new and old employees?” Trainings are one solution that can be highly effective. New employees should have required trainings to complete before starting work. Also, companies may want to consider doing monthly, quarterly, or annual training so the information learned is not forgotten and stays fresh on employees minds.
Businesses that are understaffed should recognize that workers health and safety is the top priority, no matter how busy they may be. Bosses should encourage workers to get enough rest each night before coming in for work. Also, companies should come up with a workflow system that everyone is on page with. This way, no individual feels they are being overworked to the point of burn out and exhaustion. Coming together and working as a team (especially when you are short staffed) is highly important. Recognizing who needs help and giving it can help alleviate the stress and fatigue that so many employees are feeling right now.
If you have been hurt on the job, don’t hesitate to get the workers compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.