Working retail means long hours on your feet, lots of organizing, and a great customer-service persona. Most people in the United States will work retail at some point in their lives, which is why it is so important to be aware of the most common injuries in this line of work, and how to prevent them.
Below are the most common injuries suffered by retail workers:
- Musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries are caused by overexertion. It is very common for retail workers to wear uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes for a long period of time. This can result in painful inflammation in the feet and ankles that make it difficult to walk.
- Fractures and bruises. Retail workers are always moving around and organizing merchandise. This leads to a greater risk of slip and fall/trip and fall accidents, which can result in fractures and bruising. It is also common for retail workers to suffer head injuries from falling or moving objects.
- Repetitive strain injury. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis are common among retail workers who perform the same repetitive motion day after day. These types of strain injuries can be very painful and are sometimes permanent.
- Cuts. Retail workers are often expected to use box cutters or other sharp objects to open shipments of merchandise. This makes suffering from a cut much more common.
Awareness is the best way to prevent retail-related injuries. Take care to wear good shoes, watch out for unsafe conditions or falling material, stretch before and after performing repetitive motions, and always practice safety when using sharp tools. Knowing what injuries to avoid is half the battle.