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Hold your retail manager accountable for your medical costs

At some point in most Americans’ lives, they’ve probably worked in retail. These types of workplaces carry with them certain risks of injuries that leave workers vulnerable to getting seriously hurt on the job.

Retail establishments can include hardware or pet supply stores, gardening centers, auto shops or parts warehouses and supermarkets. Music, department stores or sporting goods stores are also retailers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) argues that these types of workplaces are particularly dangerous for young retail workers under 25 years of age.

The U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics data shows that in 2012, 100,000 workers between the ages of 16 and 24 were so badly injured on the job that they end up missing days from work. That same data shows that at least one out of every four workers, or 23,000 of them, were hurt while working in retail that year.

It’s in these workplaces that many individuals belonging to this age group are asked by their supervisors to perform tasks that they’re not adequately trained to do. In many cases, what they’re being asked to do is unlawful as well. This leads to them being exposed to certain hazards that can adversely impact their health or leave them seriously hurt.

NIOSH’s research shows that many of these workplace injuries or illnesses are preventable if workers are given adequate training.

Researchers at NIOSH have also determined that young retail workers could stand to receive additional training on slip, trip and fall avoidance. Their research shows that they could benefit from learning how to best use supplies, tools and equipment too. They could benefit from learning more about safety procedures including identifying potential hazards.

It’s important that they’re taught about the dangers of overworking and also about how to maintain a healthy, violence-free workplace. Additional training in the operation of forklifts and other vehicles could benefit them as well.

Most employers in Dauphin and throughout Pennsylvania are required to take out workers’ compensation coverage. They’re legally obligated to do so to cover an employee’s medical care and lost wages after they’re hurt on the job. If your employer has denied you these benefits, then you should verify that information with a workers’ compensation attorney. They can go review the circumstances surrounding your workplace accident and advise you of your workers’ rights.


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