Vacation destination jobs a hot spot for Carolina work-related injuries

Our Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers know that the geography of the Carolinas boasts hundreds of miles of Atlantic Coastline, flatlands, foothills as well as the southeastern gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. In short, whether you live and work in the Carolinas, or are simply planning a visit to the region, the tourism allure spans the beachcomber to the snowboarder.

In fact, travel and tourism in North Carolina is a $20 billion a year industry that sustains more than 360,000 North Carolina jobs, and represents nearly 9 percent of all wage and salary employment in the state.
In South Carolina, travel and tourism dollars totaled $18.4 billion in 2008, and supported one in 10 South Carolina jobs. Like North Carolina, retail, restaurants, hotels, air and road travel and recreation are where most tourism dollars are spent.

For those of us who live and work in destination communities, living with a work-related injury can turn a “vacation” job into a nightmare. Whether you are in food service, a member of the travel or lodging industry, or work the slopes or shoreline as a ski instructor or lifeguard, employers have a responsibility to provide you with a safe place to work as guests flock to our region to play.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that while food service workers enjoy a more flexible schedule than office workers, restaurant staff is expected to log long hours that include late nights, weekends and holidays. Food and beverage workers spend most of their time on their feet and must carry heavy trays laden with hot food and cold drinks. Kitchen staff and on-the-floor employees deal with wet floors, hot ovens and sharp utensils. Injuries from slip-and-fall accidents, burns and cuts are among the most common ailments suffered by workers in the food and beverage industry.

Like food service, those employed in the lodging sector also enjoy a more flexible – nontraditional – work schedule. Also like food service, work can be hectic and high-pressure or tedious and slow, depending upon the time of day or time of year. Service workers – whether lodging or food and beverage – can find their jobs to be physically demanding and prone to similar work-related injuries.

But vacation jobs are not just about hotels and fine dining. Beaches need lifeguards, ski resorts need safety patrol, and state parks need forest rangers. In a time of crisis, all are considered the first-responders as they are generally on scene before paramedics. Their work is primarily outdoors – exposing them to sun, heat and cold – and as physically challenging as any emergency health service profession that requires heavy lifting, bending, kneeling, exposure to bodily fluids and working under high-stress potentially life-endangering conditions.

For North Carolina workers stricken with a work-related illness or injury, Workers’ Compensation attorneys with Lee & Smith know recovery and adjustment can be a lifelong battle. If you have been injured, or someone you love has been injured or succumbed to a work-related illness anywhere in the Carolinas, call us at 1-800-887-1965 or contact our law offices online to discuss your rights.

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