If you are a security guard in Southern California, you put your life on the line to protect others and their property. Lone workers typically face unique hazards. If you work the night shift, the dangers you face escalate significantly.
Security guards more or less advertise that they are there to protect valuable property. This makes you a prime target for vandals and thieves who want to get to whatever you guard. The nature of your job means isolation and no readily available assistance in emergencies, illness or injury. Furthermore, you might not have contact with your employer, supervisor or co-workers throughout most of your shifts.
Occupational hazards of your job
Working night shifts and irregular hours, along with the significant responsibility you have, can cause burnout and stress along with the following:
- Physical hazards: Your environment poses physical hazards when long hours expose you to harsh elements. The consequences could include chronic or acute diseases.
- Accident hazards: The list of accident risks is almost endless and includes everything from slip-and-fall injuries while walking on wet walkways to injuries suffered while you attempt to subdue a criminal. Other accident hazards include potential falls from heights, gunshot injuries, electric shock, road accidents, dog bites, fire and explosions.
- Biological hazards: These hazards depend on the type of business where you perform guard duties. Research laboratories and hospitals could expose you to biological hazards.
- Chemical hazards: As with biological risks, the industry in which you work may pose chemical hazards. If you guard pharmaceutical or chemical facilities or university labs, you might be exposed to chemical hazards.
- Psychosocial hazards: Fatigue and stress levels are typically high in your line of work. The strain and stress spillover might affect your family, especially if you have experienced life-threatening circumstances before.
- PTSD risks: If you experience or witness violent incidents involving criminals, you might develop post-traumatic stress disorder. If you leave this condition untreated, it might ultimately prevent you from continuing your occupation as a security guard.
- Ergonomic hazards: Depending on the facilities available for you to spend the night hours, discomfort might cause ergonomic injuries that will affect your health. Some guard posts are small and cramped, and some employers might even expect you to use your vehicle as a guard post.
Work-related injuries or illnesses:
You might find comfort in knowing that workers’ compensation benefits will cover your medical expenses and lost wages if you should suffer injury or illness. However, many of the hazards you face could cause harm that is not visible. It could also be a condition that develops progressively, and by the time it becomes necessary to seek medical treatment, proving that the condition is work-related could be complicated.
You could find even more comfort in knowing that an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney can navigate the benefits claim on your behalf and fight the battle for maximum benefits, if necessary.