Whether you're checking customers out at the cash registers, stocking shelves, or attending to customer needs, the holiday season is a demanding time of year for retail workers.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of occupational injuries and illnesses across all industries has declined in recent years.
The rate of occupational injuries in retail, however, has increased slightly. They were at 3.5 cases per 100 workers in 2018 (roughly 409,900 cases). That is up from 3.3 cases per 100 workers in 2017. The BLS reports that retail was the only private industry sector where the total recordable cases of injuries increased.
Most common injuries in retail
According to a workplace injury report released by AMTrust Financial, strains account an average of 33 days away from work for retail employees. Strains are injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue. These injuries are caused by excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, and bending.
Falls due to slippery floor surfaces and debris in walking areas account for an average of 30 days away from work. Workers who fall on the job may sustain broken bones, head injuries, cuts, and bruises.
Other common retail accidents and injuries include, according to Workplace safety education company SafeStart:
- Accidents with ladders: Ladders are often used this time of year to set up decorations, displays, and to stock shelves. Falls from ladders are often the result of setting up on uneven or slippery surfaces. They can also happen by neglecting to ensure that a ladder is stable.
- Electrical shock injuries: Exposed wires, damaged holiday decorations, and misuse of lights are the leading causes of electrical shock injuries during the holiday season.
How workplace stress and fatigue plays a significant role in holiday season injuries
During the holiday season, retail employees are often required to work at a much faster pace than usual. Many must endure longer-than-usual work hours. Outside of work, employees are getting fewer hours of sleep due to holiday planning, late-night celebrations, and hours spent shopping for gifts.
Workplace stress and drowsiness are a bad combination. They can cause employees to overlook critical safety measures when stocking inventory or operating machinery. Employees who are stressed and tired may be more likely to make errors. These errors can result in someone getting hurt.
The Ohio workers' compensation attorneys at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. If you get hurt on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can cover your medical expenses and lost wages while you're unable to work.
The process of pursuing a workers' compensation claim can be confusing. Our attorney can ensure that it's done right and maximize your chances of being compensated. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.