For years, retail has been the silent driver of economic growth in the United States. Even as brick-and-mortar retailers have been taking a beating lately with the rise of e-commerce, we are still very much a retail economy. Retail employees – including cashiers – make up more than 10 percent of the U.S. workforce, filling nearly 16 million jobs. Retail consumption makes up two-thirds of the country’s gross domestic product. If you’re a retail employee who’s been hurt at work, you might not consider yourself eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado, but that is not true. Call a Colorado workers’ compensation attorney today for help as soon as possible at 303-792-5595 to find out more.
Retail sales workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles (retail salespeople), and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (parts salespeople). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process their payments. Retail establishments are typically clean, well-lit environments. They don’t sound like perilous places to work, but they carry their own set of workplace hazards. Retail work can require the use of technical equipment, heavy lifting while stocking, or performing inventory. Accidents are common in retail, due in no small part to a largely younger, less-experienced labor force prone to high turnover.
COMMON RETAIL WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS
Most injuries at retail establishments fall into a handful of categories, and are largely preventable.
Slips, Trips, and Falls: These are by far the most common workplace accidents in the retail industry. They’re typically a result of wet or uneven floors, spilled liquids, and items left lying around. These also make up 15 percent worksite fatalities. Food service employees are particularly susceptible to slips and falls.
Musculoskeletal Injuries: Retail employees spend a lot of time standing around, lifting, reaching, and performing their tasks in awkward positions. All of this can lead to minor aches, strains, and sprains that can quickly devolve into chronic conditions. Injuries can include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and lower back pain.
Cuts and burns: Food service employees, in particular, are at greater risk of cuts and burns from preparing and cooking food.
Violence: Violence is the leading cause of death at work, and retail employees are at greater risk than most, especially those with later hours of operation. Among retail workers, liquor store employees are at the most likely to be killed on the job. Factors that put retail locations at greater risk include greater exposure to the public, cash and/or valuables on the premises, and small staff sizes.
If you’re a Colorado retail employee and you’ve suffered an injury at work, don’t make the mistake of trying to handle your own workers’ compensation claim. And don’t wait too long to ask for help. The clock starts ticking on your ability to file a claim as soon as you’re injured. We offer a no-obligation free consultation so you have nothing to lose. Call the workers’ compensation lawyers at Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 or fill out a FREE Evaluation Form today.