What Are the Dangers of Accidents and Injuries Faced by Grocery Store Workers?
When we think of jobs where people risk being injured in accidents, working at a grocery does not generally come to mind. However, grocery store work is physically demanding and can involve perils that can put employees at risk of being seriously injured or killed. These workers are often paid low wages and work long hours. When they must take time off work to recover from an injury, it can be a huge hardship for them and their families. However, injured workers could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to pay for their medical treatments and wages when they are injured on the job.
Common Workplace Accidents That Cause Supermarket Workers to Become Injured
Employees at supermarkets perform a variety of tasks given the many departments and services grocery stores now provide. To remain competitive, many supermarkets sell other products that are not food-related, like household goods, automotive parts, and lawn care products.
Workers handle thousands of products when they stock shelves, prepare bakery and deli foods, check food items at the cash register, prepare meat products, fill prescriptions, and take care of plants in gardening sections. Some of the common ways that grocery workers are injured include:
- Slips and falls. Spilled food and drinks, water in the produce section, boxes, debris, and icy entrances and parking lots are just some of the slip and fall dangers that employees face. In addition, workers who must use ladders when stocking or help unload goods at a store loading dock can suffer a dangerous fall from a height.
- Lifting. Workers often overexert themselves by lifting heavy boxes and goods in a supermarket when stocking shelves and storing excess products in its warehouse area. This is one of the major causes of workplace injuries.
- Food preparation accidents. Workers in the butcher department must work with sharp knives and power saws to cut the meat. Other employees in the deli, bakery, and produce departments also risk injury when using knives. In addition, those who work in food preparation departments risk injuries from burns when cooking and baking foods for sale.
- Standing. Most employees at supermarkets are required to stand for long periods of time when serving customers and getting products ready for sale except for during their breaks. This can lead to many back, leg, and foot injuries.
- Repetitious actions. Cashiers, baggers, stockers, food preparers, and others perform a number of repetitive movements throughout their long work shift. This can result in injuries to a person’s tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves that can cause chronic pain and limitations in movement. Some workers can no longer withstand the physical demands of their jobs.
- Struck by objects. Workers can be hit by heavy boxes of canned goods, other products, and machinery used in grocery store operations. This can cause them to suffer devastating injuries, like traumatic brain injury, or death.
- Transportation accidents. When workers are collecting shopping carts in the parking lot, they can be injured or killed if they are hit in a motor vehicle accident.
- Violence. Cashiers and baggers are in danger of becoming a victim of workplace violence if the grocery store or its gas station convenience store is robbed. This is an even greater danger for workers who work until late at night or during the night shift.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered by Grocery Store Workers?
Many of the common injuries that workers suffer are caused by repetitive motions and overexertion. These include the following:
- Muscle strains and back injuries
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Trigger finger
However, workers can suffer other serious injuries when working with sharp objects, in a slip and fall accident, and in other workplace accidents. Some of these injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
Did you suffer an injury at your job at a supermarket? Review our case results to see how we have helped other injured workers and then call our office to schedule your free consultation to learn about the workers’ compensation benefits you could be entitled to.