Helping Retail Workers Avoid Workplace Injuries
It’s practically the end of summer and that means that kids have begun to go back to school. And we all know that back-to-school means lots of trips to the store to purchase specified items for everyone from the smallest members of your family who are heading to school for the first time to those older loved ones that you have to drop off at a faraway college campus as they continue on their journey toward adulthood. Stores will be extremely busy over the next month or so as families migrate in and purchase needed items. And while all of this foot traffic is good for business, it also poses a risk in the form of constituting a workplace hazard for retail employees.
What do Retail Workers Typically do?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), retail workers usually help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts.
How Dangerous Can a Workplace Be For Retail Workers?
The Centers for Disease Control have reported that there were over 20 million workers in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector in 2016, which accounted for thirteen percent of the workforce. Additionally, this sector of the employment industry accounted for 553,600 injuries and illnesses the following year. This equates to nineteen percent of the total injury and illness cases reported to the BLS by Private industry employers. And sadly, over 60 percent of those cases were severe enough to require days away from work or a job transfer or restriction.
What Are the Risks That Retail Workers Face?
- Slip and fall injuries. While retail stores typically have smooth floors that are easy to clean such as tile or concrete, these floors are also easier to slip on, fall, and incur an injury on.
- Standing for long periods of time. The majority of retail workers are required to stand for the entirety of their shift. This can cause a wide range of injuries due to the nature of retail workplaces.
- Lifting heavy objects. Many tasks in a retail workplace, from stocking shelves to bagging customers’ purchases, can involve lifting heavy objects. Additionally, these items can fall and injure workers.
How Can Employers Help Reduce Workplace Accidents?
Retail employees can expect their employers to undertake reasonable safety measures, especially during this time of year. For example, new employees should undergo training before working independently. Similarly, cleanup supplies should be kept in a universal place where they are easily accessible in case of a spill. And retail employers are legally required to provide a place for employees to rest during breaks. These breaks allow employees to rest, reducing the risk of orthopedic injuries.
Are You a Retail Employee Who Has Been Injured at Work? Let Us Help.
Despite your best efforts to avoid it, you can be injured in an accident at work and this can be frustrating on many levels. In addition to dealing with pain and suffering from your injuries, you are probably battling medical and household bills in the face of unexpectedly losing your income. The experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates will help ensure that you maximize your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.