The Shocking Reality of Working in the Retail Industry

Shocking but true: recent stats show the rate at which retail workers are injured or become ill is higher than the rate construction workers are injured or become ill. Many shoppers forget that before items hit the aisles of stores, there are numerous workers loading and unloading trucks, stocking warehouses, scanning and bagging items, and so on. These workers are especially susceptible to certain injuries and conditions.  

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common injury experienced in the retail industry. Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries that involve pain or damage to joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and systems that support limbs, neck, and back. MSDs are often caused by sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy box, or by performing the same movement over and over. MSDs can also be caused by a sudden event, like a serious fall down accident.

Overexertion and contact with objects /equipment are the second most cited cause of injury.

Slips, trips and falls are the third most cited cause of injury among retail workers.

If a worker sustains a MSD, is injured due to overexertion/contact with and object, or is hurt in a slip and fall, there are often lasting physical and financial effects. Employers must provide their staff with a safe working environment and take the necessary steps to prevent injury.

“Mike Wahl, director of health and safety at XPS Logistics and former safety executive at Toys R Us and Walmart, said management needs to make safety a priority. Wahl said a lack of commitment at the top can result in an environment that values inventory over safety.

‘(Corporate) strategy needs to be focused on routine safety training, including at orientation and annual refresher training,’ he said. ‘Routines also need to include a monthly comprehensive inspection of the retail store, in addition to daily inspection of high frequency/high severity areas.’”-Safety & Health Magazine

Unfortunately, many employers knowingly put their employees at risk simply to cut costs. If you were injured on the job contact us today.