Workers in retail stores face high rates of injury, especially during the high-demand time of the year when shoppers are participating in holiday sales events. This includes days like “Black Friday,” where lots of eager customers shop at retail establishments. To be sure, retail employees rarely use heavy equipment in their work. However, the injury rates recorded for retail employees are on par with the injury rates of employees in the construction industry in recent years.
Workers Are At More Risk at This Time of the Year
Unfortunately, at this hectic time of the year, retail workers may be particularly at risk. This is true for several reasons. Firstly, stores often employ seasonal and temporary workers during the holiday season, and these workers have much less training and experience than permanent, long-term employees. They are typically less accustomed to the hazards of the workplace, as well. Since this is the busiest sales season, workers are also more likely to encounter large crowds, longer hours, and even aggressive buyers. Longer hours and the stress of meeting customers’ demand can lead to fatigue, which inevitably leads to a greater risk for work-related injuries.
The crowds during holiday sales events are a significant concern for employees in retail stores, especially the “big box” retailers who hold some of their largest sales at this time of the year. These “Black Friday” and other holiday sales are designed to attract considerable crowds. In some retail stores, customers line up for hours outside of stores, waiting for opening time. Then, they try to rush in all at once when the doors open. These holiday sales events have the potential to lead many kinds of injuries, including:
- Harm or damage from aggressive customers
- Injuries from crushing and suffocation caused by a rush or stampede
- Injuries from slips and falls or tip accidents caused by spilled or broken products
- Orthopedic injuries caused by standing up for many hours at a time or from lifting heavy objects
Stores Make Efforts to Reduce the Risk of Accidental Injuries
Retail stores can help reduce the risk of accidental injuries by hiring additional security personnel to control the crowds of customers. Additionally, many companies offer tempting online sales to reduce the number of people present at their stores. Furthermore, online sales can be extended for additional lengths of time and provide sufficient inventory that customers can purchase without having to wait in long lines and then rush the store.
Thus, there is no urgent need to be in such a hurry to get to the item they wish to buy before anyone else gets it that accidental injuries happen. Stores can also help their employees avoid injuries at this time of the year by hiring enough staff to ensure that workers receive the necessary amount of support and offering adequate training of staff.
Still, despite all their best efforts, accidents will continue to happen in retail establishments. If you have been injured in an accident while working in a retail setting, a workplace accident attorney can help you obtain compensation for any medical expenses and necessities or lost wages.