February 10, 2021

Common Retail Worker Injuries

Retail workers face several potential workplace hazards that may result in them becoming injured and seeking workers' compensation benefits. The need for stocking shelves or display cases, for example, can cause an employee to experience ailments including muscle stiffness or more severe issues like tendonitis. In the following article we examine how retail workers are treated with regards to being eligible for workers' compensation. We also discuss the accidents they are subjected to and why hiring an attorney to represent them is important.

injured retail worker on the floor

Retail and Occupational Hazards

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail trade experienced 409,900 injuries and illnesses in 2018. Among these injuries, "more than a third (42,790) were from overexertion and bodily reaction. Another 38,940 were from contact with objects and equipment, and 34,190 were from falls, slips, or trips."

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses for retail workers 2018
chart showing number of retail workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time off

More specifically, workers in this industry suffer the following types of non-fatal injuries:

Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Injuries caused by lifting things that are too heavy or bulky, or because of improper lifting techniques
  • Musculoskeletal injuries typically result in workers suffering stiffness or soreness in their backs, shoulders, arms, and hands

Bruises or Broken Bones

  • Stem from slips, falls, or tripping over objects or on slippery surfaces
  • Can also result from falling objects, such as boxes or merchandise

Repetitive Strains

  • Repetitive use of POS and other tools may lead to issues like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome

Scrapes and Cuts

  • The use of sharp objects, such as knives or box cutters, can lead to puncture injuries

Given these realities, workers may wish to pursue workers' comp claims, as well as a personal injury claim in situations where intentional or egregious negligence was present.

What to Do After a Retail Accident

If an individual gets injured while working while in a retail establishment, they should:

  • Get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible
  • Notify their employer and document who was informed about their injury
  • Obtain witnesses' testimony (written or audio)
  • Take photographs of their injuries, scene of the accident, and any equipment involved
  • Secure a workers' compensation attorney to review their case