Construction, fishing, moving, agriculture and transportation are some industries that record the most number of workers’ injuries. Jobs in these industries involve hauling large equipment, lifting heavy objects, using powerful machinery, and doing lots of climbing.
But what about the retail sector? That’s not something that crosses your mind when thinking of workers’ injuries, does it? Contrary to what most people believe, retail employees also risk injuries ranging from musculoskeletal to repetitive strain.
Interestingly, workers getting hurt in the retail industry is more common than you think. The repetitive nature of the job, irregular timings, and extended shifts place workers at risk of injuries. Moreover, this industry also involves lots of lifting, stacking goods, cutting, etc., which leaves plenty of scope for physical injuries.
This is why, as a small or large business owner, you should know the reasons behind these injuries and the steps required to correct them. Having workers injure themselves repeatedly at the workplace weakens their morale and puts them at risk of facing a lawsuit unless they have workers’ compensation insurance.
Why should you have workers’ compensation insurance, what are some reasons behind workers getting hurt, and other details you must know about this topic? Continue reading to find out.
How can workers’ compensation insurance help you?
If you are a retail store owner, you must buy workers’ comp, preferably from a company that understands your business requirements and offers helpful tips on choosing the right insurance package.
Having this insurance prevents you from incurring the costs related to treatment, rehabilitation, recovery, etc. It provides financial coverage to your employees and compensates them for the wages lost because of the time off work.
If your business is situated in a state where it’s compulsory to provide your employees with medical coverage, not doing so puts you at risk of facing a lawsuit or running into legal complications.
Coverage for workers covers various injuries, including slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, falling objects, walking into something, cuts, laceration, and repetitive motion injuries. It also covers uncommon injuries such as bruises from team-building, third-degree burns, and encountering rabid animals on company premises.
Some injuries faced by workers
As mentioned above, employees in retail stores are at risk of facing various kinds of injuries. Here are some of those.
Musculoskeletal injuries are primarily caused by incorrectly lifting heavy items. Interestingly, incorrectly lifting things is so common among retail workers that OSHA has a set of guidelines describing the proper way of lifting heavy objects.
Using a wrong posture while lifting objects leads to injuries to the back, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Bruises and broken bones
Fractures and broken bones primarily occur because of slipping and falling. Wet conditions at the workplace, especially during snowfall during winter, lead to workers slipping and falling more frequently. Older workers have a higher risk of falling because of wet floors.
Repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive strain injuries are incredibly high among retail employees, and it’s not difficult to see why. Various tasks involve the same bodily motion, leading to problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, and intersection syndrome.
The risk of an injury from repetitive motion is high, whether it is the cashiers banging away at their keyboards or constantly swiping cards at the counters.
What steps can you take?
Besides providing workers’ compensation to your workers, you can take various steps to reduce the risk of injuries. These include organizing safety training sessions, enforcing safety protocols, making regular breaks mandatory, and keeping workspaces dry and clean.
Workers getting hurt at work weakens their morale, decreasing productivity and output. Proving medical coverage through workers’ comp assures them of receiving proper medical conditions and ensures you fulfill their legal obligations.