The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that retail store employees experienced more injuries than workers in other industries. In 2018, seven out of every 200 full-time retail employees reported a workplace illness or injury.
BLS.gov noted that bodily reactions and overexertion caused the greatest number of workplace injuries and illnesses. Contact with equipment and objects caused a high number of injuries requiring retail employees to take time off from work.
Motions that could result in injuries
According to the National Safety Council, harmful motions include repeated twisting, bending and lifting. Employees performing these activities daily may overexert themselves. Serious injuries such as muscle sprains or torn ligaments could develop.
Back and trunk problems developed in 46% of the retail workers who needed time off from work to recover in 2020. Issues involving shoulders and upper extremities resulted in 31% of the employees requiring recovery time away from work. Overexertion required a median number of 14 days off to heal.
Retail tasks that may cause injuries
Loss Prevention Magazine reports that retail employees often experience lacerations from sharp objects. Opening boxes too quickly, for example, may lead to serious cut wounds. Retail store workers loading shelves face risks of tripping over objects in addition to falling and slipping on wet floors.
Customers may add to the stress retail employees experience while working under pressure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health surveyed employees. The agency found that a quarter of the respondents stated their jobs were their number one cause of stress. As noted on the Risk & Insurance website, stress often leads to burnout, which contributes to on-the-job accidents.
Retail employees may require medical care and time off to recover from their job-related injuries. Employers’ workers’ compensation insurance plans may provide both the required medical care and compensation for wages lost while recovering.