Many people may not realize it, but jobs in the retail industry can be dangerous. Just because retail employees aren't working on top of buildings, in mines or around hazardous chemicals doesn't mean there isn't the possibility of suffering serious injuries.
AmTrust Financial's 2019 Retail Risk Report looked at three years of workers' compensation claims by retail workers to determine what the greatest risks were. The "Top 4 Hazardous Classes" were the following:
Meat, fish or poultry: Employees who work behind the meat and fish counters are often using knives and sometimes even power saws. That can lead to serious cuts and lacerations as well as repetitive motion injuries. They're also typically lifting heavy boxes and weighty products, which can cause upper extremity injuries.
Hardware: Employees at hardware stores cut lumber, load heavy supplies and often climb very high ladders to reach products on top shelves. The most common hardware store injuries are to the upper back, arms, shoulders and ankles.
Auto supplies: Like hardware store employees, workers in auto parts stores are often dealing with heavy inventory, including tires. Not surprisingly, common injuries involve the upper extremities and knees. Soft tissue injuries are often reported as well.
Hair styling: This includes barbers as well as people who work in hair salons. Repetitive motion injuries are very common because these employees are working with their hands all day. They're also typically standing for long periods. There are plenty of slipping and tripping hazards, including hair and water on the floor, not to mention cords everywhere for dryers and styling tools.
All of these injuries may seem like they're the obvious risks of working in these establishments. However, it's important not to ignore an injury. In many cases, that will only make it worse. If you've been injured on the job, make sure you get the workers' compensation benefits to which you're entitled as you heal.