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Workplace accidents common in retail setting

Certain workplaces are more dangerous than others. One may not immediately think of retail and wholesale settings when considering workplaces that could present safety hazards. However, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that wholesale and retail workers are at high risk for injuries at work like slips, trips and falls since they frequently move materials.

Imagine an employee unloading a new shipment of shoes at a large shoe retailer. With a few other workers, the employee carries recently-delivered boxes into the store's stockroom. While carrying an especially large box, the employee trips over an electrical cord lying across the stockroom walkway. He could not see the cord because the large box obstructed his view of the floor.

As a result of tripping on the electrical cord, the employee falls and drops the box he was carrying. He lands hard on the stockroom's cement floor and immediately knows this fall will to continue to cause pain for a while.

The man resumes his work, but is in pain the rest of the day as he continues to unpack boxes of shoes from the new shipment and carry them onto the sales floor. For weeks his back hurts whenever he bends over or tries to lift an object. This injury makes it very difficult for him to continue working in the same role at the shoe store-unloading boxes with this new back condition is very challenging.

Many employees have likely experienced a similar type of incident. When an employee realizes that a workplace accident prevents him or her from working and earning money, workers' compensation could potentially help. The employer is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace. Leaving an unsecured cord lying across a walkway is not very safe. A person in this man's situation may want to look into filing for workers' compensation.

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Wholesale, retail trade workers at higher risk of slips, trips, falls," Dec. 17, 2012

To learn more about workplace accidents, please visit our Laurel workers' compensation webpage.

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