In recent years, the rate of nonfatal injuries in the retail industry began to increase. It now surpasses injuries in the manufacturing industry and continues to rise.
The number of workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases increases as well.
Common ways that retail workers get hurt on the job
The most common ways that retail workers suffer injuries on the job include:
- Slip and fall accidents. Potentially dangerous conditions arise often because of the volume of inventory and foot traffic.
- Retail workers do a large amount of heavy lifting, sometimes leading to debilitating repetitive motion injuries.
- Sharp tool accidents. Retail workers regularly use box cutters and other sharps objects to open boxes and rush to unload inventory.
- Contact with fallen objects. Heavy items can fall off shelves, striking workers.
- Workplace bullying. Persistent bullying from a coworker or a boss can result in psychological injury.
The most-reported injuries involve soft tissue damage, such as muscle sprains, strains and tears. A close second is back injuries, a common result of slip and fall accidents and overexertion.
Liability in a retail work accident
Liability is rarely an issue in work accidents. Workers’ compensation insurance covers the damages from work-related injuries and protects the employers from negligence claims and liability. Coverage extends to any injury occurring as the worker operated within the scope of the job, not limiting workers to being present at the job site.
The uptick in retail worker injuries means employers need to consider more emphasis on safety training. Thankfully, workers’ compensation can help employees financially as they heal.