Workplace Risks: Common Retail Injuries
Edited By: Cecily Johnson, Legal Secretary
This time of year, many retailers are planning to increase hiring ahead of the holiday season. A lot of Americans take a second job over the holidays to earn a little extra money, as stores and distribution centers staff up to accommodate holiday shoppers. Working in retail may not appear to be one of the more dangerous ways to make a living. However, retail workers were more likely to suffer a work-related injury or illness than manufacturing workers in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Common Retail Work-Related Injuries
According to the BLS, some of the most commonly reported injuries for retail workers include:
- Muscle sprains, strains and overexertion: These typically are caused by lifting, pulling and pushing heavy items improperly or simply repetitively.
- Cuts and punctures: These are common among employees who use box cutters, scissors and other sharp objects to open boxes. Masking and packing tape dispensers for sealing packages and gift wrapping can cause serious cuts also
- Fractures: These can occur on when workers slip or trip on floors that are slippery from spills or tripping hazards. People who fall from a ladder can suffer severe fractures, concussions and more.
- “Struck-by” injuries: An item falling from a high shelf, even if it’s not particularly heavy, can cause serious injuries.
It’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure that their staff (including temporary and/or part-time employees) are properly trained. Too often, when things get busy, that training is inadequate or nonexistent. Employees need to know how to correctly lift and move things, use a ladder, etc. Employers also need to be careful about overworking employees. While many seasonal employees are happy to take all of the hours they can get, working long hours and late shifts can increase a person’s likelihood of suffering an injury.
Have You Suffered From a Work-Related Injury?
If you have suffered a work-related injury, it’s essential to get the compensation you need to deal with medical bills, lost wages and more. Find out about your rights to workers’ compensation.
Rate and number of workplace injuries and illnesses in retail trade increased in 2018. (2019, December 02). Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/rate-and-number-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-in-retail-trade-increased-in-2018.htm