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What are the Risks of Retail Work?

Retail Work

At first glance, retail work may not seem like a high-risk work environment, yet a closer look can reveal some hazards that are specific to this line of work. Like other workers hurt on the job, retail employees sustaining an injury are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Some Hazards of Working in Retail

Retail workers can encounter a variety of hazards.  Some of the primary hazards at retail jobs include the following risks:

  • Slip and fall accidents. Employees should be aware of their surroundings and any changes. Often the front of the retail area is well maintained for the safety of customers, but back areas and stock areas can be more hazardous if they are not maintained properly or there are running wires or improperly stored inventory.  Additionally, the employer should take care to maintain the floor or carpeting in the front area of the store and in the storage area where employees may need to travel frequently.  If the floor is not maintained or it is wet because of other leaks or hazards, the issue causing the hazard should be addressed immediately to avoid slip and fall accidents in which employees can sustain injuries.
  • Stress on the job. Retail workers can be subjected to stressful situations such as shoplifting or even violence if there is a robbery. Other stress could include customers arguing about a transaction or the quality of an item that was purchased.  Repeated stress on the job can take a toll on employee’s mental health, and it can trigger depression and anxiety.
  • Lifting heavy materials. Often retail work includes lifting boxes of inventory or moving around inventory in the store so that new inventory can be placed on display. Employers should have a system for storage that causes minimal risks to employees and train employees on the proper way to lift the weight of the boxes that they may normally encounter on the job to avoid employee injuries from lifting.
  • Injuries from box cutters or sharp objects. To open boxes of inventory, retail workers may have to use box cutters or other sharp objects. Employees should be trained on how to properly use and store these sharp objects. If sharp objects are inadvertently left on a countertop and then pushed to the floor, it could cause a serious injury to an employee or a customer.  Sharp objects should always be stored in a specific location, and only supplying those that can be closed so that a sharp edge is no longer displayed should be considered so that employees do not inadvertently cut themselves while looking for the sharp object.  Additionally, employees must know the best way to use the box cutter or the sharp object to ensure they do not harm themselves or cut the inventory.

Exton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can Help if You are Injured While Working at a Retail Job

Although retail work may appear to be a fairly safe work environment, there are hidden hazards that are not apparent to the regular customer who may enter the store.   If you have suffered an injury while working in retail or in any other industry, the Exton Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help determine if you can collect Workers’ Compensation as a result of your injury.  Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.