Customers might think that retail work is a fairly easy job. After all, how dangerous can it be to operate a cash register? As someone who has worked in retail, you know this is an oversimplified view of the industry. In reality, retail workers face a high risk for workplace injuries.
Retail work can be quite dangerous. The hazards you face working in a retail environment are unique to this industry too. It is important for you and other retail workers to have a better understanding of the injuries to which you are susceptible.
Lifting and overexertion injuries
Lifting and handling heavy materials can pose a threat to retail workers. Without proper training or safety equipment, workers might improperly lift, push, pull, lower or twist heavy items. This can lead to injuries such as strains and sprains, as well as other serious and chronic injuries.
Overexertion injuries can happen in any industry but are especially common among retail workers. Excessive physical effort is a primary contributor to overexertion injuries. While overexertion injuries sometimes cause relatively little discomfort, others suffer debilitating pain.
Falls and falling objects
Slippery floors, uneven flooring and loose carpet are all contributing factors to falls. While some falls might be minor, many are serious and lead to severe injuries. The severity of a fall-related injury is usually dependent on what kind of surface the victim lands on, what part of the body he or she hits, and how fast the fall was.
Objects that fall from significant heights are a problem too. Products that fall off of shelves may strike workers on the head, leading to serious injuries and complications. While large and heavy objects might be more likely to cause more traumatic injuries, even relatively light falling objects can cause damage.
Work related stress
A quarter of all retail workers say that their job is the biggest contributor of stress to their life. Job stress can take a toll on both your emotional and physical health and may put you at an increased risk for injury from other causes. Job stress often happens when a job does not match a worker’s:
It takes time, money and energy to recover from serious workplace injuries. If you feel like you do not have the ability to fully work on your recovery, you may want to explore your options for workers’ compensation benefits. In Ohio, these temporary benefits help address your lost income and medical bills, giving you the opportunity to focus on your own health.