A busy shopping season increases the risk of injury for retail store workers. As reported by CBS News, close to 4% of retail employees working full time in 2018 sustained non-fatal injuries or illnesses.
Approximately 7% of employees selling pet supplies recorded on-the-job injuries and illnesses. This retail sector reported higher impairment rates than employees at other establishments. Workers at liquor or clothing stores faced fewer risks.
Reported retail store hazards and injuries
According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail employees’ injuries or illnesses mostly consisted of muscle tears, sprains and strains. Nearly 40% of the incidents reported resulted from physical damage to muscles or ligaments.
Over a third of retail workers experienced overexertion; using excessive physical effort often leads to injury. Forceful contact with store equipment and other objects caused 33% of the accidents. Employees also reported serious injuries from falling, slipping and tripping.
Issues affecting retail employees’ safety
As reported by Loss Prevention Media, retail store employees face risks to their safety from loud noise, stress and violence. Although lifting materials and physical exertion still account for the most common injuries, retail employees have a right to relief when almost any type of mishap occurs.
An on-the-job injury or illness often requires medical care plus time off for treatment and recovery. Nearly one-third of retail employees reported that they had to stay home from work for at least one day to recover from an injury or illness.
Workers’ compensation provides health care and financial assistance to injured retail workers. A supervisor who retaliates against an employee filing a workers’ comp claim may have violated Connecticut and federal labor laws. An employee who files a claim does not need to prove he or she did not contribute to the accident.