Grocery store employees are among the most prized essential workers. They keep the shelves stocked, and we see them frequently taking precautions to protect our safety. From wiping down commonly touched areas to keeping floors dry, most grocery store workers are dedicated to safety for everyone involved. However, our Charlotte injury lawyers have seen their fair share of grocery store related injuries.
Of course, as employees, grocery store workers often face unique challenges in walking through areas of the store where slip and fall cases might be more likely. Given the current events of 2020, grocery store workers are also in a high-risk zone for contracting illnesses through workplaces. Here is a variety of grocery store-related workplace injuries that we’ve seen a number of times.
Slip and Falls – Major Hazards
In most workplaces, slip and falls are among the most common hazards. In grocery stores, they’re an even bigger issue. Broken milk containers, a carton of eggs that fell over, and mopped floors that didn’t have a sign put up are all major hazards for grocery store employees.
Slipping falls often lead to injuries that include contusions come out broken bones, head trauma, and joint damage. Even in those non-slip shoes that are usually mandatory for working in a grocery store, it is possible to fall because of liquid on the ground. During that bull, many people try to catch themselves and that act of twisting and turning, or throwing an arm out can lead to more damage.
Truck Loading and Unloading
Most of the time, grocery store employees take part of the responsibility for loading and unloading large shipments. That means carrying heavy cases and using equipment to help take the strain off of their bodies, such as a dolly. However, a box falling or someone trying to catch something can lead to serious muscle trauma. Additionally, if employees haven’t received proper training on how to appropriately lift and handle heavy cases, they may be doing damage that won’t arise until years later.
Most grocery store employees will help stock the shelves. For some employees, this is a primary job function, and for others, it’s something to help out with when their station is slow. The trauma that comes with stocking shelves seems minor at 1st and then becomes worse over the years.
The repetitive motion of grabbing-turning-lifting and grabbing-turning-lifting again can lead to shoulder and wrist damage. Repetitive motion trauma is something you can file worker’s compensation for. However, you’ll need a doctor to point out that this type of damage only happens over a duration of time and from specific actions such as bending and lifting, using a knife, or turning and grabbing to stock shelves. If you have repetitive motion injuries, such as damage to your rotary cuff or carpal tunnel, you should talk with your medical team and your Worker’s Comp attorney.
Illness and Risk of COVID-19
Grocery store workers are among the highest at risk to come into contact with COVID-19. They work in one location, and people can’t go without these services. Everyone needs to grocery shop and get the essentials for their home. However, grocery store workers may have noticed co-workers coming to work sick in sick people in a store without a mask.
It is left to the store managers and owners to determine what safety precautions to put into place and when to close down the location for sanitation. The Washington Post covered a particularly troublesome event in Worcester, Massachusetts. A Walmart in the town had allowed multiple sick employees to come to work, and the store had documented about two dozen people who had tested positive, but they kept the store open. Within days of a public health director shutting down that particular Walmart, 119 other workers had tested positive. It is possible with the current condition that if you face extensive medical bills and time lost at work because of COVID-19, you might have a worker’s compensation claim.
Finding the Right Charlotte North Carolinas Workers Compensation Lawyers
Grocery store workers may be protected through the United Food And Commercial Workers International Union, but many don’t know that. Many workers believe and are correct that their first line of defense when it comes to recovering from a workplace injury is there states workers’ compensation system. Contacting North Carolina’s worker’s compensation lawyers should be your first stop after you report your injury and get medical attention.
It is vital that you get the proper compensation for the damages caused at work and the time you lost for your recovery. To do this, you might need to work with a local worker’s compensation attorney.