Odds are good this holiday season that you are one of thousands of people employed in retail in Georgia. Statewide, over 180,000 people worked as line staff or supervisors for retail. This number only grows during the holidays, as many stores extend hours and need extra people on the floor to deal with the huge spike in business.
Unfortunately, taking on that seasonal job can add extra risks along with the extra cash. Retail workers were the only industry this past year to see a significant rise in the number of workplace injuries. The workers most in danger of a workplace injury were those in furniture, automotive and super-center stores.
Though working in a store is probably not one of the first places you think of as a dangerous job, there are several reasons why this industry may leave you injured and scrambling to deal with a confusing workers compensation system:
- Many stores lack comprehensive training programs. Especially for seasonal workers, training does not happen before employees get to work. But without proper form and safety precautions, lifting heavy merchandise all day or stacking precarious items on shelves can cause accidents. Even worse, blades for unpacking boxes can lead to nicks, cuts or serious lacerations for rushed employees without proper safety training for handling sharps.
- Some retail workers do not receive adequate breaks. Being on your feet all day can take a toll on your joints. During the holiday rush, breaks can go by the wayside. Employees then suffer strain on stressed joints such as ankles or knees.
- Overstocked stores present more slip and fall dangers. Items piled on the floor and crowds of shoppers snaking through the aisles can mean that store workers have to thread through a maze while carrying stock. Unfortunately, that makes it more likely that you could trip and end up sprawled on the ground.
Identifying the dangers can be the first step to avoiding workplace injuries.