People who work in retail have a lot to deal with daily. While many people focus on customer interactions, that’s only a small part of what goes on with these workers.
There are many risks that these hardworking individuals face with every shift. Understanding some of the basic hazards of retail work may help these workers to remain safer on the job. With that said, ultimately, the onus is on employers to ensure employees have a safe work environment in which to operate.
Slip and trips
It’s not always easy to keep the floors clear in a retail environment. Sweeping and getting spills up isn’t always possible to do immediately. Dropped merchandise can result in tripping. Liquids on the floor can lead to slipping.
Merchandise that’s on higher shelves can fall and strike workers. It’s imperative that everything is put up neatly to minimize the risk of it slipping off. Additionally, heavy items should be on the bottom, so the shelves don’t become top heavy and tip over.
Opening boxes in retail is usually done using box cutters, which have an open blade. Employees usually focus on trying not to cut the merchandise, but they must ensure that they don’t put themselves at risk of being cut to save the merchandise.
Repetitive motion challenges
Some retail workers must do the same task repeatedly. These repetitive motions can lead to cumulative trauma injuries. The issue with these injuries is that they show up slowly and may seem rather harmless until the damage is severe.
Unruly crowds are a primary hazard around the holidays and when there are good sales. Workers can be trampled and injured if the crowd becomes unruly. Having crowd control measures in place can help to prevent this.
Retail workers who suffer injuries while doing their job duties must ensure they get proper medical care. Workers’ compensation should cover this expense, as well as specific other costs related to the injury. Seeking legal guidance promptly can help injured workers to better ensure that they receive the benefits to which they are entitled.