When many people hear the term “workers’ compensation,” they often think of industries like construction, coal mining and agriculture. However, workers can be seriously injured in virtually any type of workplace. They, too, have a right to seek workers’ compensation.
Take retail. Whether you work in a grocery store, a small boutique or a big box store, you’re likely to at some point find yourself standing on a ladder and opening and lifting boxes. Depending on where you work, you may be stocking or removing merchandise from high shelves. All of these tasks can cause serious injuries – whether from one accident or from repetition day after day.
In their 2019 Retail Risk Report, AmTrust outlined some of the most common injuries suffered by people who work in retail. They include the following:
Punctures and cuts: These often come from knives and box cutters that are used to open boxes of merchandise. Large tape dispensers used to seal boxes up can be sharp as well. So can some types of security tags.
Muscle injuries: Muscle strains are the most commonly reported retail injury. They also account for the most missed work and the most money paid out in workers’ comp. People typically suffer muscle strains and sprains while improperly lifting, pushing or pulling heavy items. Sometimes the injuries are suffered over time from dealing with boxes of merchandise nearly every day.
Struck-by injuries: These are often caused by items falling from a high shelf because they weren’t properly placed or because an item was being removed improperly. An item doesn’t have to be particularly heavy if it falls on someone from a high shelf or if multiple items fall to cause serious injuries. Struck-by injuries can also be caused by being hit by a cart, a moveable clothing rack or something else being pushed by an employee who’s not watching where they’re going.
Slips and falls: Liquid and debris on the floor can be a hazard for customers, but employees are often the first to discover it – the hard way. Employees can also suffer falls outside their workplace if, for example, snow and ice aren’t properly cleared from walkways and parking lots during the winter.
If you or a loved one is a retail employee who’s suffered an injury that requires medical treatment and/or time off work, don’t hesitate to seek workers’ compensation. If you’re having difficulty getting the compensation you need and deserve, an experienced attorney may be able to help.