Workers in retail stores in South Florida face high rates of injury, especially during this time of the year where shoppers are facing holiday sales events, the infamous “Black Friday” and others. Although retail employees do not work with heavy equipment, in recent years the injury rates of retail employees is on a par with the injury rate of employees in the construction industry.
Unfortunately, at this time of year in South Florida , retail workers may be especially at risk at this time of the year for several reasons. Firstly, during the holiday season, stores employ seasonal/temporary workers, and this may mean that they are less accustomed to the hazards of the workplace and have much less training and experience than long-term employees. Since this is the busiest season for sales, workers are also more likely to deal with large crowds, aggressive buyers, and longer hours. The longer hours can lead to fatigue at work which inevitably leads to higher risk for injury.
The crowds during Holiday sales in South Florida are a huge concern for employees in retail stores, especially “big box” retailers that hold some of their biggest sales of the year. For example, “Black Friday” sales and additional holiday sales during the latter part of the year are designed to attract considerable crowds. In some stores, customers line up outside stores for hours before opening and then rush in once the doors open. These holiday sales have the potential to create many types of injuries including: