The retail and food service industries are full of men and women who work hard for the pay they earn. There are risks that come with these jobs, but many can be prevented with proper safety practices. Employers should ensure that the workers have what they need to do their jobs safely.
When an employee is injured, they will likely need to seek medical care right away. Some injuries may not be easy to notice right away, but failing to get treatment could mean that the condition worsens. This could lead to more problems in the future, and medical care might become necessary then.
Back pain and injuries
The lifting, bending and twisting common in these industries can lead to back troubles. The issue with this is that the injuries might not appear all at once. It is possible that a cumulative trauma injury will appear over time due to the constant strain on the back. A sudden injury is likely to only become evident after an accident or a wrong movement.
Proper lifting techniques, back braces, and team lifting are three ways that many back injuries can be prevented. Employers should teach employees how to properly lift things so they can remain safe. Informational posters and lifting equipment might also be helpful.
Slipping and tripping
Wet floors are a big hazard in these industries. Just because you don't actually fall to the ground doesn't mean that you won't suffer an injury. The jerking motion of trying to stop yourself from falling can cause damage to your body's structures. If you do fall, try to avoid catching yourself with your hands since the force of impact could lead to arm, hand and wrist injuries.
Keeping the floors clean and dry is the easy way to prevent these injuries. Workers who are going to be around slick surfaces should have slip-resistant shoes that can help to prevent these types of accidents.
Repetitive motion injuries
Working with inventory, handling dishes and ringing up customers can all put pressure on the hands and wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger are both possible. Using proper techniques to reduce the strain on the arms and hands might help to prevent these problems. Stretching before and during each shift also helps.
When these repetitive motion injuries occur, they aren't usually noticed suddenly. The problem goes from a minor nuisance to a major source of pain. Lack of range of motion and stiffness can also occur, which makes it hard to do normal work duties.
When a retail or food service worker is injured, they might not be able to return to their strenuous job right away. Workers' compensation could help them in this financially challenging time.