With stores gearing up for a big customer turnout for holiday and post holiday shopping, it is an unfortunate truth that retailers prioritize inventory over worker safety. As a result, the very workers who keep stores hazard free for guests are routinely working in unsafe environments. This is probably why the illness and injury rate for retail workers was higher than the construction site industry in 2016.
According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate for workplace injuries and illnesses for retail workers in 2016 was 3.3 per 100 full-time workers. The most common injury experienced was musculoskeletal disorders, with overexertion and slips, trips and falls coming in as the second and third causes. In fact, there was an increase in the number of slips and falls between 2009 and 2014.
According to safety experts, handling materials leads to the most number of injuries in the retail sector, which is why workers should be taught efficient and ergonomic methods to do it. One way to limit injuries is by limiting the number of times an employee comes into contact with the material itself. The simple act of introducing popcorn tins reduced back injuries and material-handling injuries during winter season, one of the most important shopping seasons of the year.
Working with employers and managers across departments to reduce hazards in the workplace is an important step that has to be taken by the administration to create a safe working environment. Those who have been injured in the workplace might be able to file a workers' compensation benefits claim to cover their medical expenses. These benefits can help an injured worker recover while also assist with any financial harm caused by the incident.