Workplace injuries that sideline employees temporarily or permanently happen daily. Still, as the largest private-sector employer in the nation, retail is responsible for a significant percentage of Minnesota’s workplace injuries.
As a result, workers’ compensation is a critical benefit protecting the rights of many retail workers who sustain the following injuries due to their physically demanding jobs.
Many retail employees spend their workdays lifting, bending, standing and operating cash registers and price scanners. As a result, repetitive stress on their muscles, tendons and ligaments can lead to debilitating pain, inflammation and incapacity due to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis, and muscle strains and sprains.
Contusions and broken bones
Spills, poor lighting, clutter and uneven floors can cause workers to slip and fall in busy retail environments. These accidents can cause severe bruising and broken bones that may prevent workers from working until they heal or cause permanent discomfort.
Retail workers are vulnerable to objects falling on them in crowded stock rooms or when adjusting unstable display fixtures and navigating congested store aisles. Those who experience concussions that warrant hospitalization may experience dizziness, vertigo, headaches, mood swings and other long-term complications.
Busy retail environments require workers to perform many roles, including preparing sales inventory. Typical responsibilities include opening and unpacking boxes and displaying products. However, in public retail spaces, workers face numerous distractions causing them to work hastily and injure themselves. For example, lacerations from box cutters can cause severe and permanent damage from wound infections, nerve damage and scarring.
Minnesota employees working in busy retail environments rely upon workers’ compensation insurance to pay their bills when job injuries prevent them from working. However, these benefits do not exempt employers from providing safe retail environments.