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Job Hazards for Retail Employees

Job Hazards for Retail Employees

What Is Considered Retail Work?

Retail involves the sale of goods or services and direct content with customers over the phone, in person, or via online portals. There are many different types of retail businesses, including but not limited to department stores, specialty stores, convenience stores, discount stores, drug stores, and supermarkets.

The Hazards of Working in Retail

AmTrust Financial examined three years of workers’ compensation claims made by retail workers, and in 2019, they released a Retail Risk Report that outlines the top hazards and common injuries retail workers sustain. Here are a few key statistics from their research:

  • The four more hazardous types of retail work involve jobs in the meat, fish, or poultry industry, hardware stores, automobile part sales, and beauty salons/barber shops.
  • 22% of reported claims involved a lifting injury.
  • The top three injuries that led to the highest average compensation payout involved falls from great heights, repetitive motion injuries, and motor vehicle collisions.

From stocking shelves to customer service, it's no secret that retail work can be dangerous. Many people don't realize just how hazardous the job can be for employees, though. Below, we discuss some of the most common job hazards for retail workers and what steps they can take to protect themselves from harm.

Slip & Fall Accidents

Slips and fall accidents are very common incidents that can lead to work-related injuries. Whether it's something as simple as a wet floor or icy walkway or something more complex like an unsecured ladder or broken stairs, slips and falls account for a large portion of injuries in the industry.

Employees should always be diligent about wearing slip-resistant shoes and using caution when walking on potentially slippery surfaces. Additionally, employers should ensure that all ladders are securely locked into place before being used.

Stressful Working Conditions

Retail work can also be stressful due to its often fast-paced nature. It's important for employers to recognize when their employees are feeling overwhelmed by their workloads and give them adequate breaks throughout the day.

This will help prevent burnout, which is a common issue among retail workers due to long hours and high expectations from customers. Additionally, providing clear communication channels between management and staff can help reduce workplace stress levels.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Another potential hazard in the retail industry is injuries related to repetitive motion tasks such as stocking shelves or operating machinery. To reduce the risk of such injuries, employers should provide employees with ergonomic equipment that is designed to limit strain on certain parts of the body while performing these tasks. Employers should also ensure that all staff members receive proper training before operating any machinery.

Lifting Heavy Objects

As we mentioned, heavy lifting is one of the most common job hazards for retail employees. While many stores have automated checkout machines or self-checkout counters, there are still tasks that require a lot of manual labor. This includes stocking shelves with heavy boxes or moving large items from one location to another.

If done incorrectly, it can lead to serious injuries such as back strain or muscle tears. To avoid these types of injuries, always lift with your legs instead of your back and use proper technique when lifting heavy objects. Additionally, if you feel like something is too heavy to lift safely, ask for help from a coworker or supervisor instead of risking an injury.

Exposure to Hazardous Materials

Retail stores often contain hazardous materials such as solvents, chemicals, and paint products which can be dangerous if not handled properly. These materials should be stored in clearly marked containers away from areas where customers and employees will come into contact with them.

Additionally, any employee who is handling hazardous materials should wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to protect themselves from exposure. If an employee does come into contact with hazardous materials, they should seek medical attention immediately in order to prevent any further health risks associated with exposure to these substances.

Motor Vehicle Accidents | Struck By Accidents

Retail workers can also be injured after being hit by vehicles in parking lots or loading zones. Whether you are hit by a delivery van or a customer’s vehicle, you can sustain serious injuries that affect your ability to work.

For employee safety, delivery drivers should be trained in safe driving procedures and adhere to the rules of the road. Employees should also have reflective gear they can wear when they walk in the parking lot or other outdoor areas.

Get Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Working in retail comes with its fair share of risks but by following proper safety protocols and using common sense when it comes to hazardous materials and manual labor tasks such as lifting heavy objects, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury on the job. If you have been injured while working in the retail industry due to negligence on behalf of your employer, then you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

At Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we help you win a settlement award. Backed by decades of legal experience, our attorney is equipped to help you understand and fight to recover workers’ compensation benefits that can help you recover and remain financially stable; speak with our experienced workers' comp attorney today in order to learn more about your legal rights and options going forward.

Schedule a complimentary case review with our firm by calling (505) 219-2176 or reaching out online today.


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