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Work Related Injuries - Holidays Risks In Retail

The Anastopoulo Law Firm

In addition to stringing lights and garlands, retail establishments have taken an extra step in being prepared for the holidays this year: beginning their hiring blitz earlier. For both temporary workers and regular store employees, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s means dealing with a frenzy of shoppers along with increased risks for work related injuries. Here is what you need to know if you work in this field.

Temporary Workers, Crowds, and Longer Shifts For Retail Workers

According to a September 2017 report by Fox Business News, low unemployment figures have caused major retailers and online distributors to begin their hiring blitz earlier this year. Stores such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s will all need to increase hiring along with increasing regular worker shifts to keep up with holiday demands. In addition to the thousands of retail employees who are expected to be hired in stores to work directly with customers, more will be added to distribution centers in order to keep up with online shopping demands.

In the quest to meet this demand, Fox claims that some retail establishments are offering incentives for temporary workers, such as higher rates of pay and increased benefits. Other stores, such as Walmart, are focusing more on hiring for online order filling in warehouses, while requiring regular full and part time employees to work additional shifts and longer hours. Unfortunately, all of this creates dangers for the employees involved

  • Temporary holiday workers may not receive adequate training in safety procedures, making accidents more likely.
  • Overextended regular employees are more likely to make potentially dangerous mistakes and experience overuse injuries.
  • Frenzied crowds of shoppers, particularly on weekends and major sale days, may engage in conduct which puts themselves and store employees at risk.

Common Types of Retail Worker Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that the frenzy of holiday sales and an increase in shoppers put retail workers at a greater risk over the months of November through January. Common types of on the job work related injuries include:

  • Soft tissue injuries, due to repetitive motions, heavy lifting, and strain
  • Severe cuts and lacerations, due to working around glass and metal shelving and using box cutters in unpacking goods
  • Slip and fall injuries, due to cluttered aisles and items left on the floor
  • Being struck by or caught between objects in storage rooms and warehouses
  • Transportation accidents that occur during deliveries
  • Acts of violence and injuries due to contact with customers.

Contact Us for Help

Work place injuries are serious. If you are a retail worker and are injured on the job, notify your employer, get treatment for your injuries, and call or contact Anastopoulo Law Firm online for help in filing a claim. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in getting the benefits you are entitled to, regardless of whether you are a regular employee or just filling in over the holidays. Contact us at our Charleston office or one of our locations throughout the Upstate to schedule a free consultation today.

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