Every day, grocery store employees and food service workers provide an essential service to their community. In recent weeks and months, they’ve worked long hours and experienced heightened stress as people react and “stock up” during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, Gov. Wolf issued an order that customers and employees at essential businesses, like grocery stores, must wear masks.
This will help protect customers and employees, but they face other potential challenges while working in this environment. Like all essential employees these individuals are at risk for injury while on the job and may be eligible for worker’s compensation.
What are Some Common Workplace Injuries for Food Service and Grocery Store Employees?
For grocery store employees, many of the most common injuries are related to lifting, moving and stocking products. For the food service industry, many of the most common injuries are related to food preparation including burns, cuts and exposure to chemicals.
Injuries for both grocery store employees and food service workers can include:
- Back Injuries and Muscle strains
- Falling Objects
- Repetitive strain injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Toxic fumes
Why May Grocery Employees and Food Service Workers Be at Increased Risk of Injury?
Stressful working conditions can increase the risk of becoming injured on the job. During this pandemic, food service and grocery store employees may be working longer hours or may experience stress related to dealing with agitated customers. All of this can increase risk of injury.
What are Other Injuries Grocery Store Employees and Food Service Workers Might Experience?
With an increased demand for food and grocery deliveries and pick up services, grocery and food service employees may be facing a new risk related to work — car accidents. If you are an employee using a business-owned vehicle, it’s important to understand how you are covered and the steps to take if you are in an accident.
What Should Grocery Store Employees and Food Service Workers Do if Injured?
If you are a grocery store employee or work for another food service operation, and believe you sustained a work-related injury, you should follow these three steps:
- Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment- in an emergency situation go to the ER otherwise ask your Employer for a “Panel List” of approved providers.
- Know your rights – Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation with an attorney