New York, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – The most hazardous class of retail workers are those in meat, and the most common types of injuries they incur involve the facial bones. Those are among the findings in a new risk report by AmTrust Financial. Using claims data from 2016 to 2018, the authors found that the overall average number of days missed due to injuries among retail workers is 24 days.
The report indicated that men are more likely to be injured on the job as they reported 13,645 injuries for a total of $116 million in losses paid out. The average payout for a male worker was $11,641. The average number of days lost due to injury for males was 24 days.
By comparison, women reported 8,375 injuries with a total payout of $52 million. The average cost for female workers was $7,030, while the average number of days lost was a day less at 22 days.
Age seemed to have an effect on days missed and payout. Workers aged 41 to 60 had the highest average of days missed and the highest average payout.
While hand and finger injuries were the most common type of injury in retail, there was often no payout associated with the injury. Strains were the most common injury reported, accounting for 26 percent of claims and 32 percent of payouts. Sprain injuries also had the highest individual payouts, while falls had the highest overall average payout at $21,000, followed by repetitive injuries at $14,000 average, and motor vehicle injuries at a close $13,900 average.
Strains resulted in an average of 33 days lost from work, followed by falls at 30 days. Other injuries averaged 25 days lost. When reviewed as a group, the top 10 injuries resulted in an average of 64 days missed at a cost of $10,917.
The retail industry with the top number of claims was meat departments, those in meat markets and butcher departments in grocery store. In addition to facial bones, the most common injuries in this industry involved the elbows and knees. The second highest reporting industry was hardware stores with the most common injuries occurring to the trunk, and upper and lower extremities. Automobile parts stores came in third with soft tissue injuries, multiple upper extremity injuries, and knee injuries reported. Beauty salons and barbers came in fourth with shoulder and thumb injuries being the most common.
The top cause of injuries reported was falling stock or materials. Miscellaneous came in second followed by repetitive injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and strains from tools or machinery. The top sources of injury were from containers, followed by wet floors and unsafe walking areas. Third was motion or position, followed by vehicles and parts or machinery.
The report also included tips specifically for retail environments based on the claims data with training being a key element to avoiding accidents. They included:
- Enforcing a footwear policy
- Maintain floor safety and keep floor areas clear and dry
- Train employees on proper lifting techniques and establish a policy
- Provide adequate equipment to move stock and materials and train employees on how to use them
- Train employees on store security, including shoplifting protocols
- Safety training that includes maintaining of exit paths