Employees face injury risks specific to their job description and work environment. For example, retail workers face injury risks that other workers may not necessarily face. Here are some of the injuries to watch out for if you are a retail employee.
You are likely to suffer from overexertion injuries if you have to lift heavy objects, type on a keyboard, or work in an awkward position for long periods every day. For example, you may develop overexertion injuries if you have to load and unload boxes of deliveries every day at work.
Note that overexertion has both physical and mental aspects. Your risk of an accident tremendously increases if you are mentally exhausted, which may lead to physical injuries. Inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, and long work hours are some of the things that increase the risk of overexertion.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Apart from overexertion injuries, retail workers also face a high risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries. Debris on the floors, uneven floors, poor lighting, and slippery floors are some of the things that increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
Maybe you have to get something from the parking or loading zone, pass through a dimly lit corridor, and take the delivery into a poorly lit storage area. Add such risks to improper footwear and a heavy load, and you can easily see why retail workers incur slip, trip, and fall accidents.
Contact With Objects and Equipment
Workplace equipment, tools, and merchandise also cause injuries to retail workers. The injuries come from workplace machinery such as delivery vans, merchandise on sale, or tools such as loading trolleys. Sharp edges of poorly designed furniture may also stab or scratch your body, particularly if you work in a constrained space.
For example, a forklift accident may cause you serious injuries if its load accidentally drops without notice. A stack of boxes can tumble down and knock you to the floor. Retail workers who work in storage or on the retail floor are more likely to experience injuries from contact with objects than those who only process payments such as cashiers.
Burns and Related Injuries
Burn accidents might not be as common as overexertion, falls, or contact with object injuries, but burn accidents still happen. Both electrical and combustion fires can cause burn accidents. What is more, a typical fire can cause multiple injuries beyond just burn injuries.
For example, you may inhale smoke, hit yourself on other objects, or slip and fall on your rush to get away from a fire. Some of the hazards that may cause burn injuries include electrical malfunctions, poor chemical storage, and poor storage of combustion materials, among other things.
Lastly, retail workers also face the risk of assault injuries in the workplace. Assault injuries may come from disgruntled customers who may take out their frustrations on workers. The injuries may also come from common criminals such as sexual attackers or muggers. You face a high risk of assault injuries if:
- You work at night or leave work at night.
- Your parking lot is poorly light.
- You deal with client complaints.
- You work in a neighborhood with high crime statistics, particularly violent crime.
Assault injuries come in various ways. The injuries include gunshots, knife stabs, and blows from blunt objects or body parts, among others.
As a retail employee, you have coverage with workers compensation insurance for all injuries you may experience while at work. Contact Cole Fisher Cole & O'Keefe, and we will walk you through the workers compensation process and help you negotiate for a fair compensation package. Don't forget to give your employer a written notice of your injuries within 30 days as the law requires.