Retail work is a physically demanding job, and employees face long hours of work for low pay. Because they often are paid minimum wage or only slightly more, they can least afford to take time off work when they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, they risk many serious injuries that could be prevented if their employers—especially big retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, and Home Depot—took employee safety seriously instead of just focusing on profits.
Common Injuries Retail Workers Can Suffer
When employees are forced to rush around at a fast pace and inexperienced workers are not trained, workplace accidents happen. The result is that retail workers experience the following injuries:
- Overexertion and musculoskeletal injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries are injuries to a person’s muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. They are often caused by improper movements when retail workers are lifting, loading, and carrying boxes and store products—often too heavy for the employee to handle. These injuries can result in long-term pain and limitations on a worker’s activities—sometimes preventing him from returning to his job.
- Fractures and bruises. These injuries are often caused by slip and fall accidents when employees rushing to do their job slip on spilled liquids, debris, torn carpet, or damaged floors. In addition, broken bones and bruises result if a retail worker is hit by a falling or moving object, such as a large box falling from a shelf.
- Repetitive strain injuries. When retail workers perform the same movement over and over again—such as cashiers scanning products and bagging them—they can suffer injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and joint pain. While injuries are most common to the hands, arms, and wrists, employees can also suffer these injuries to their backs, knees, and necks.
- Cuts and lacerations. Cuts and lacerations are common when retail workers open boxes, crates, and other containers using cutting tools. These injuries can range from minor cuts to serious lacerations requiring emergency medical treatment.
- Injuries from violence. Retail workers are at more risk than many others of being the victim of a crime when criminals try to rob their stores. Even if they are lucky enough to not suffer any physical injuries, they could experience long-term psychological trauma from their terrifying experience.
If you or a family member has been injured in a workplace accident caused by a non-subscriber employer—such as Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, and Home Depot—who has opted out of workers’ comp, you still have a right to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma if you are injured on the job. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.