Dec 2019

Retail, warehouse injuries likely to increase this holiday season

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Those who work in retail and warehouse distribution should be prepared for a faster-paced work environment this holiday season. More demand from shoppers means commercial goods to be made, distributed, stocked on shelves, and sold to the public.

Here are the injury statistics for the retail and warehouse sectors.

Retail injuries on the rise

All private industry sectors saw a dip in total recordable workplace injury cases in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retail was the only private sector that saw an increase in recordable cases — from 3.3 cases per 100 workers in 2017 to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2018.

The most common retail injuries in 2018, according to the BLS, included:

  • Sprains, strains, and tears
  • Pain and soreness
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Fractures

Most retail injuries were caused by:

  • Overexertion
  • Contact with objects and equipment
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Accidents involving transportation
  • Violence, and/or injuries by people or animals

Warehouse injuries also common during the holidays

The rate of total recordable workplace injury cases in the warehouse sector, according to the BLS, was 5.1 per 100 full-time workers in 2018.

Warehouse accidents can be more devastating than retail injuries, especially when heavy machinery is involved. For example, forklift accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries and deaths in warehouses.

Other common causes of warehouse injuries include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Contact with objects or equipment
  • Being struck by falling inventory

How workplace fatigue plays a role

The holiday season is not only stressful for those who spend hours shopping, traveling, and planning events, it can also be tiresome for workers. Those who work in retail and warehousing will likely be required to work overtime this holiday season.

Sleep deprivation, long work hours, and workplace stress can all result in:

  • Loss of memory
  • Depression
  • Impaired hand-eye coordination
  • General fatigue that is worse than being impaired by alcohol

Those who work the night shifts are the most accident-prone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says that nearly 70 percent of warehouse and transportation employees who work the night shift are fatigued.

Know your legal rights if you’re injured on the job this holiday season

Whether your job entails cashing out customers, stocking shelves, operating a forklift, or delivering goods, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you sustain an injury on the job.

If you’ve never filed a claim before, the process can seem complex and overwhelming. Any errors made on your paperwork can cause your benefits to be delayed or denied. Let an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl do the work for you.

For nearly four decades, our legal team has successfully advocated for injured workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To get started on your claim, contact us online and set up your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.

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