On its face, the retail industry seems like a less hazardous place than any other given manual labor job. Unfortunately, wherever you have employees, you have injuries, and the retail industry is no exception. From supermarkets to department stores and beyond, retail stores place employees in environments that demand multitasking in a fast-paced environment. As a result, injuries are bound to happen. Whether an injury is the result of lifting or a slip and fall, it can cause physical, financial, and emotional hardship.
Let’s look at some common hazards in the retail industry and what to do if you are sidelined by one of them.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Hazards in the Retail Industry?
Slips and falls are common in retail. A slip and fall can cause a plethora of injuries from a sprain or torn ligament to a broken bone or even a neck injury. Slips and falls can happen because of wet floors, spills, debris, cords, or uneven surfaces.
Lifting injuries are common in the retail industry. Even though most large stores employ safe-lifting training, lifting injuries happen anyway. Common injuries caused by lifting include sprains, strains, herniated discs, and fractures. Many of these injuries occur in backs, arms, shoulders, and legs.
If you have ever worked in retail, you have either seen a coworker get a cut or experienced it yourself. Retail stores use many tools and sharp objects that cause injury. Whether a worker suffers a cut because of rushing, carelessness, or the negligence of another worker, injuries of this nature are perhaps the most frequent of all workplace injuries.
Stress is one of the most common causes of poor health, and it is commonly found among retail employees. Because of the pace, responsibilities, and lack of support, retail workers are prone to stress. A worker suffering from stress is susceptible to emotional and physical injuries. Emotional injuries can range from depression to actual illness, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
What Should You Do if You Are Injured at Work?
Not knowing what to do after suffering a work injury could cost you dearly. You have 21 days to report your injury to your employer. After 120 days, the claim is time-barred, which means you cannot collect. Remember that the longer you wait, the more suspicious your injury will appear to the insurance company.
Seek medical care right away. One common reason that insurance companies deny or limit a workers’ compensation claim is because of the lack of concern by an employee for the listed injury. Medical care will also provide you with documentation: description of injury, treatments, tests, and bills.
If you are denied or are unhappy with the compensation offered by the insurance company, you can file a petition to have your case heard by a workers’ compensation judge. A lawyer would be instrumental in preparing documentation, dealing with the insurance company’s attorneys, and representing you at a hearing.
If you are unhappy with the judge’s decision, you can file an appeal with the workers’ compensation board.
In Pennsylvania, employers are protected from lawsuits for damages as long as they provide workers’ compensation. You can file a lawsuit, however, under certain conditions, such as if your injury occurred due to willful misconduct or fraud by your employer.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses, such as doctor visits, treatments, tests, surgery, and prescriptions. Lost wages are covered but at a percentage of your salary. Also covered are disability payments and death benefits.
Chester County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Represent Those Injured at Work.
If you have been injured at work, you need a competent lawyer at your side. Our experienced Chester County workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan will fight hard to bring you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 610-594-1600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchland, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, Morgantown, and throughout Pennsylvania.