A job in a store might seem like a safe option. Yet, according to 2018 statistics from the Bureau of Labor, you are more likely to get injured working in retail than manufacturing.
The rate of injury for retail workers was 3.5 per 100, while the rate for manufacturing employees was 3.4 per 100. It is only a slight difference, yet it is surprising when you consider manufacturing plants are full of machinery.
Why do store workers get injured?
The figures prove that injuries can happen no matter your job, and all workplaces contain hazards. Here are some that retail workers need to be aware of:
- Ladders: A manufacturing warehouse would use a forklift to get something down from a shelf. If you work in a store, you need to go up a ladder to get things down. You are more likely to fall while balancing on a ladder than sat in the cab of a forklift.
- Electricity: Changing a lightbulb in a factory probably requires a crew of harnessed workers on an elevated platform. Stores ceilings tend to be lower, so your boss might ask you to stand on a chair and do it. Power cables are also heavier duty in manufacturing plants, reducing the chance of accidental electrocution.
- Lack of training: Employers show you how to use a dangerous machine in a factory before letting you loose on it. Retail training is more about customer service. Employers and staff may take safety more seriously in manufacturing than retail because people perceive factories to have more potential for danger.
If you are injured while working in retail, you need to understand how the workers’ compensation system operates. You do not need to prove anyone was at fault, but you may still have to fight for the compensation you are due.