These days, working in a St. Louis area grocery store is riskier than ever. As essential workers, grocery store workers are at particular risk of catching COVID-19 on the job. But even in normal times, the various jobs that people hold in a typical supermarket, co-op or other food store can expose them to a range of potentially serious injuries.
Common reasons and types of grocery store work injuries
In a 2003 study released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common causes of injuries that occur among grocery store employees include:
- Overexertion in lifting
- Overexertion in pushing or pulling
- Bending over or twisting your body
- Climbing or crawling
- Reaching for objects
- Repetitive motions, typing, or use of tools
Sprains, strains and tears are the most common type of occupational injuries at grocery stores that require days off, according to BLS. Other common injuries include peripheral nerve damage and hernias. The jobs most likely to cause serious injuries were cashiers and sales workers, kitchen workers, and baggers/stock handlers. Together, these three categories of grocery store jobs accounted for 62 percent of days missed due to on-the-job injury.
What can come after a workplace injury
While many injuries sustained by grocery store workers are relatively mild, other times, workers are left in terrible pain or physical limitation. They might have to miss work for weeks or months while you recover, and you might only be able to do limited duties when you return. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to help make up for your lost wages and other expenses while you are laid up.
However, getting approved for workers’ comp is not always easy. Your employer and its insurance company could contest your claim, for example, by claiming that your injuries are a prexisting condition. By hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, you can even the odds. When it’s time to appeal, your lawyer can prepare a strong, evidence-based case for why you are entitled to benefits.