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Retail Workers Face On the Job Hazards

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on March 8, 2018 | In Workplace Injury

Retail Workers Face On the Job Hazards

It may seem like a relatively safe environment in which to work. On the surface, workers in the retail industry don’t appear to face the hazardous conditions of other workplaces such as in construction, steelworkers, ocean fishing workers and logging.

But, in reality, those working in retail experience a combined workplace injury and illness rate of 3.3 per 100 full-time workers – a frequency greater than that of the construction industry, according to 2016 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Retail businesses sell products directly to those who use them and include a wide variety of stores such as supermarkets, home centers, tire and auto stores, superstores and warehouse clubs, department stores, pet stores and nurseries.

Retail Industry Work Hazards

  • Slips, trips and falls. Liquid spills, ice and snow, loose mats, frayed carpeting and stepladders can cause injuries. Other hazards such as clutter and poor lighting can result in injuries like strains, fractures, sprains and lacerations.
  • Work equipment and supplies. You may be injured if certain equipment or supplies spill or fall on you. Examples are forklifts, tools, stacked boxes, cleaning chemicals and conveyor belts.
  • Overworking. Injuries can happen when you do more than your body can take, including lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions, working with bad posture or without breaks. Repetitive strain injuries include joint pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and damaged backs, shoulders and knees.

Musculoskeletal disorders, from moving product from trucks to scanning and bagging items, are the most common injury experienced in retail. The second most common causes of retail worker injury are overexertion and contact with objects and equipment. Slips, trips and falls are the third-most cause of retail injuries.

Tips To Avoid Injury When Working in Retail

  • When lifting or carrying burdens, wear the appropriate safety equipment such as gloves. Plan your lift and your route, and make sure the destination is clear. Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting from a low level. Use the large muscles in your legs. When unloading, make sure the item is secure before letting go.
  • Avoid slipping and tripping. Watch for any hazards and report them to your management. Wear sturdy footwear with a non-slip tread. Clean up spills promptly. Keep walkways clear of debris and other obstructions.
  • Check that any store displays are secure and won’t fall. Keep items balanced and secure when stocking shelves.
  • Vary tasks and slow your pace to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Use good posture and gripping techniques. Be alert to signs of injury that will worsen with time – pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and stiffness – and report them to your supervisor.

Learn more about preventing injury for retail workers at this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

We Can Help If You Have Been Injured at Work

If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney serving the Los Angeles area, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

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