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What do Walmart and Target workers think are the biggest hazards for retail staff?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Workplace Safety |

Retail jobs come with a distinct set of challenges and hazards, as workers from Walmart and Target have recently shared with Insider.

Working in retail might not seem as risky as some professions. However, its dangers can seriously harm employees’ safety and well-being. These hazards vary from the backroom to the parking lot but are concerning across the board.

Outside the store

The area outside a retail store can be especially risky for employees. Dangerous incidents include theft and carjackings, as well as vehicles hitting employees in parking lots. Retail workers describe cars speeding through parking lots, ignoring stop signs and even hitting employees, leading to serious injuries. Workers assigned to collect shopping carts or bring items out to customer’s vehicles face the most exposure to these hazards.

Inside the store

Store backrooms can be especially hazardous, according to retail workers. Employees describe these spaces as full of danger. Short deadlines and low staffing levels often lead to unsafe practices when unloading and storing goods. Unbalanced boxes and poorly packed freight may contribute to injuries. Heavy pallets are sometimes stacked in a hazardous fashion, with lighter, more unstable items placed under heavier goods. This careless packing can lead to dangerous situations, including heavy items falling on workers.

Another hazard comes from the store floor itself, where employees face the threat of violence from shoplifters and armed customers. Assaults in retail settings are not uncommon, with numerous workers recalling terrifying encounters with thieves or angry shoppers.

Ensuring the well-being of retail employees requires attention to store layouts and the behavior of the people in them.