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Top 3 workplace hazards for young retail workers

Working in the retail industry may seem simple and sometimes boring. However, you face some unique workplace hazards. If you are a young adult or teenager who works in retail, you have a higher chance of getting injured than workers with more experience, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how do you stay safe?

The first step is to learn about the most common hazards and what your rights are if you suffer an injury on the job. Below is an overview of common causes of retail injuries and what you should do about a workplace injury. 

1. Slips, trips and falls

Here are some of the most common workplace problems that lead to slips, trips and falls:

  • Loose rugs
  • Unlocked portable ladders
  • Poor lighting
  • Clutter
  • Wet surfaces
  • No handrails on staircases

If you slip, trip or fall at work, you could easily suffer a strain, sprain, bruise, fracture or cut. 

2. Overworking

Never overexert yourself even if you are young. Overexertion is the second most common reason workers take time off of work. Excessive physical effort can result in exhaustion, back injuries, neck injuries or repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Avoid lifting items that are too heavy, working too long without a break, repeating the same motions over and over, or using a bad posture. 

3. Equipment and tools

There are plenty of supplies and machinery you come into contact with at work. Potentially harmful equipment and tools include box cutters, knives, stacked boxes, forklifts, ladders and cleaning chemicals. Make sure you follow all signs, warning labels and training. Inform your manager about any potential hazards. 

Your employer is responsible for training you, informing you of workplace hazards and explaining your rights as an employee. If you do suffer an injury because of negligence by your employer, you should not deal with missed pay and medical bills on your own. Make sure you explore your options, including opening a workers' compensation case.

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