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On-the-job injuries and illnesses are climbing among retail workers

| Jul 28, 2020 | Workers Compensation |

Many people take retail workers for granted. Long shifts, short breaks and a hectic, busy floor can make the job exhausting. Plus, the pay is often toward the bottom end of the scale. It’s a tough gig.

All of these factors make some recent statistics even more troubling. Retail workers are getting injured or becoming ill while on the job more often than ever before.

The injury rate for retail workers is going up

Retail stores are everywhere, and particularly here in Minnesota they play a big role in the economy. The workers in these shops, however, are suffering illness and injury at a worrying rate. State figures show that from 2010-2018, retail trade had the third highest number of indemnity claims among all industries.

The figures reveal a clear picture: Retail jobs are dangerous for workers.

This is true nationally as well. Retail trade was the only industry that recently saw an increase in the rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. For every 100 retail workers, 3.5 suffered an on-the-job illness or injury. Even workers in the hazardous manufacturing industry aren’t injured as frequently.

The most common causes of injuries

What is causing all of these workplace injuries at retail shops? There are three main types that account for the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims:

  • Overexertion (such as lifting heavy boxes or repeated actions that put stress on the body)
  • Contact with an object or equipment (such as being hit by something or stepping on an item)
  • Slips, trips and falls

Retail workers may also be injured in transportation incidents, by being exposed to harmful chemicals, in a fire, or due to one of many other causes.

When a worker is injured or suffers an occupational illness while doing their job, they are often entitled to benefits. These benefits can include partial wages until you’re healed and able to work again, as well as payment for any related medical care. All employers in the state of Minnesota that have at least one employee have to provide this workers’ compensation insurance.

Retail work can be physically hard on employees. Anyone that suffers an injury while doing this tough job should know they have an opportunity to receive support during their recovery.