Less Hours Plus More Work Equals a Greater Chance for Injury
Blame it on ObamaCare, blame it on the recession, blame it on “necessary” downsizing. The why doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the work hours of 240,000 employees throughout the state and 2.3 million nationwide (according to UC Berkeley research) are being cut. And for many of these employees, the workload remains the same.
What happens when you have to produce as much in less time? It’s not pretty.
“When employers cut hours, but not expectations, the toll on workers—physically and psychologically—can be devastating,” says Steve Scardino, a Workers’ Compensation attorney with the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP (GEK).
According to Scardino, the toll can include the following:
- Physical and mental exhaustion that can translate to impaired judgment and slower reflexes, which can be detrimental for those operating machinery or motor vehicles.
- Increase in carpal tunnel syndrome for employees engaged in repetitive motion activities that put pressure on the median nerve, causing numbness and pain in the fingers, wrists and hands.
- More back and neck injuries for workers whose job requires a lot of manual labor. The need to lift, move, pull and twist more frequently and rapidly can lead to problems. In addition, if job duties have expanded without proper training, there is a greater chance for injury.
- The stress related to increased work demands can lead to high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances and so much more.
“When an employee is under the gun to perform the same or additional job duties in less time, it is a recipe for disaster. Particularly when you consider that the treatment for each of these injuries can create secondary symptoms that also need to be treated.
“The scales of justice need to be tipped back in favor of the worker. But until that happens, it is imperative that workers understand the full range of Workers’ Compensation benefits to which they are entitled if their work environment results in injury.”
GEK has more than 30 years’ experience fighting for justice for the injured. If you would like to speak with a GEK attorney or have questions about your legal options, please click here or call 213-739-7000.