As our world slowly combats the coronavirus, our communities have recognized essential workers. Normally, essential workers include nurses, doctors, police, and emergency responders. However, with the threat of the rapidly spreading virus and the shut-down economy, retail workers showed us that they are essential.
Retail Work Essential During the Pandemic
Retail work is vital for society to survive the pandemic, grocery workers and workers at stores, like Walmart or Target, are at risk. Retail workers are meeting panicked customers’ demands for supplies and food while trying to keep themselves, other workers, and their own family safe from the virus.
What Hazards do Retail Workers Face?
Retail workers face various hazards each day, and the pandemic has exacerbated these risks. Here are some of the hazards retail workers face daily, according to statistics published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:
- Heavy lifting: Improper lifting or straining to lift a product, whether it is too heavy or out of reach, can cause serious strain on your body, and can also exasperate an existing issue.
- Stress: Retail work can be tough; most retail jobs require working at a fast pace, and workers must constantly be on their feet. There is also the added stress of dealing with customer problems or co-worker issues. Stress can lead to serious work injuries, including mental injuries and physical injuries.
- Falling and slipping: In the retail world, a worker is surrounded by constant movement. Additionally, retail workers are around products on high shelves and are around other hazards, such as wet floors. Unsafe practices, like failing to set up a wet floor sign, can lead to accidents. Carelessness, like incorrectly stocking products that could fall or untrained fork-lift drivers, are amongst many other hazards retail workers face.
Retail workers face risks each day, and employers should help minimize these hazards and provide environments where employees can feel safe and secure.
Are Retail Workers Being Protected During the Pandemic?
In some cases, health insurance can take up a worker’s whole salary. Workers who are struggling with making payments should ask for options, such as delays in payments or discounts. Sometimes, retail workers who feel unsafe at work have to continue working to support themselves and their families. Due to this, many essential retail workers feel trapped.
Some retail workers have openly admitted going to work during the pandemic while feeling sick because they fear to lose their source of income. Fortunately, major retail corporations have stressed for sick workers to stay home.
These companies also acknowledged the difficult decisions that their employees face and have offered more flexible scheduling and hours, and some have even offered extended sick-leave, specifically for COVID-19. However, most workers are not aware of these new developments within their companies and have been going to work with the fear of losing their jobs.
When Should Retail Workers Seek Legal Help?
If a retail worker suffers from a work-related injury or illness, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation. If an employee is unsure of his or her rights, it is advisable to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Protect the Rights of Retail Workers
It is always best to speak to your employer or human resources department if you feel unsafe and feel you are risking your health. However, if you have a work-related injury or illness, an experienced lawyer will help protect your rights. Our Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC will evaluate your case and help you obtain the compensation you need. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.