Retail workers generally do not receive adequate respect from the general public or their employers. Although they often work long shifts and have unpredictable schedules that force them to make personal and family sacrifices, retail workers often have minimal job security and receive substandard wages in many cases. They also often don’t get the support they need when they have medical challenges, including injuries suffered on the job.
Retail workers have numerous workplace safety and health concerns that they should remain aware of for their own protection. Repetitive stress injuries and falls are among the concerns that employers often encourage their workers to proactively address. However, in recent years, workplace violence has become one of the top safety concerns for those in retail establishments.
Interpersonal violence has surged upward in retail settings
There has always been some degree of risk for violence involved in retail work. People may come in and try to rob a business or may become violent at a bar when staff members cut them off because they are already visibly drunk. Data from recent years shows that violent incidents have started occurring with increasing frequency in retail environments In just two years between 2018 and 2020, researchers reported a 63% increase in assaults in grocery stores and a 75% increase in assaults occurring at convenience stores. The trend appears to have continued.
Workers’ compensation helps those in high-risk careers
Most employees know they can count on workers’ compensation for healthcare coverage and wage replacement if a shelving unit collapses and breaks their arm or they slip and end up with a head injury that leaves them unable to work. Not as many workers understand that workers’ compensation applies to any job-related injury, including injuries that result from interpersonal violence.
The coverage offered through workers’ compensation can reimburse someone for the lost wages and medical expenses incurred in a violent incident when the perpetrator is a member of the public or one of their co-workers. The police report and other documentation of the incident will help clearly connect the injuries to someone’s employment.
Those who experience workplace trauma may have more complex claims because of the secondary consequences of the incident, such as the mental health implications of experiencing violence on the job. Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim requires that workers know their rights and have proper support after getting hurt on the job. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to accomplish these twin aims.