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The most dangerous time of the year for grocery workers

Two of the most celebratory holidays in the nation are slowly approaching. The air is getting colder, the amount of people coming in the store increases and the two most important months for grocery workers to stay on their feet begin.

With cashiers, baggers, cleaners and deli workers trying to keep up with the holiday shoppers, it can be easy to overlook some of the most dangerous parts of the job that could leave you with a severe injury. While these issues are present in your workplace year-round, they are the most prevalent when shoppers start coming in during November and December. It is important to be aware of these hazards so you can be in top condition during these two busy months and so you can enjoy the holidays when they are all over.

Wet floors

Wet floors are one of the biggest obstacles for both workers and customers. With how much liquids, slippery objects and spraying machines get the floor wet, there are bound to be plenty of wet floor signs in the storage room. These are important to clean and address as soon as you can so an angry customer does not sue your store and endanger your employment, but be careful when approaching the area itself so you will not end up in the hospital.

In November and December, Colorado starts seeing an increase in snowstorms. Even if you are not part of the crew that helps deliver the bags outside, you are not quite safe inside. The number of wet floors dramatically increase because customers that walk in the snow start leaving a wet trail behind. No amount of mats to stomp their shoes on will prevent slippery footprints from trailing their feet. Cashiers, custodians and outside workers will need to be especially careful around the entrance of the store.

Musculoskeletal disorders

The most common work injuries for retail grocery store owners are musculoskeletal disorders such as back injuries and arm sprains that result from heavy lifting, repetitive motions or overexertion. Thanksgiving and Christmas are frequent times of the year for this to happen because more people are buying more items at the store. You are given far more than you are used to and you are expected to operate at a faster pace.

OSHA has made guidelines for grocery workers to minimize the chances of any severe strains or injuries occurring on the job. Maintaining the correct posture is one of the key parts to accomplishing this, as keeping the shoulders relaxed, the back straight, the wrists straight and the head and neck untwisted will keep your body strong enough to continue with little pain. Any ways to break this posture such as repeatedly bending your neck downwards, reaching out too far to grab a missing can or moving your arms too fast will eventually contribute to a musculoskeletal disease.

If you do injure your body during the holiday season, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation. If you have any difficulties filing a claim for the process, an experienced attorney can guide you in going through the steps you need to take.

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