If you’re injured while working in a grocery store, you should file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical bills and wages you’ll lose while off work for treatment and recovery. It’s important to remember, though, that your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company might look for any way possible to dispute, delay, or deny your claim. When this happens, Derrick Law Firm can work to prove your injury is work-related and see that you carry out the claims process correctly and on time.
Common Injuries Among South Carolina Grocery Store Employees
Cashiers, baggers, shelf-stockers, deli workers, cart collectors, and other grocery store employees are exposed to a variety of health risks on the job.
Wet floors, fruits and vegetables dropped and smashed in the produce department, ladders used to stock shelves or create displays, pallets of goods sitting in aisles, and icy parking lots all pose a danger of slip-and-fall accidents for grocery store workers. Slip-and-fall mishaps can result in broken bones, concussions, sprained joints, and other injuries.
Deli workers and food preparers work all day with knives and sharp slicing machines. Shelf stockers use scissors or box cutters to open containers of products to shelve. The slightest distraction, a moment of carelessness, or an equipment malfunction can lead to serious cuts and lacerations, loss of blood, and possible infection. In the worst cases, a finger or hand might be severed or require surgical amputation.
Stocking supermarket shelves requires an employee to lift and carry heavy objects for extended periods of time. Muscles, tendons, and ligament strains, as well as back and spinal issues, can result.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Scanning items, bagging groceries, collecting shopping carts, and lifting and bending again and again day after day can lead to repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The employee is likely to suffer extreme pain and a loss of range of motion in the affected limb.
Back, Leg, and Foot Pain
Cashiers, baggers, and deli workers generally stand up for most or all of their shifts. Some are required to work overtime because many stores are understaffed. Spending long, consecutive hours on their feet can cause these workers to experience painful back, leg, and foot pain.
Exposure to Pathogens
With hundreds or even thousands of customers passing through a supermarket or convenience store daily, employees are exposed to airborne pathogens that could infect them with colds, flu, COVID-19, and other viruses.
In large supermarkets, forklifts are often used to move pallets of goods around the store, and many stores today deliver groceries to customers. Drivers of forklifts and delivery vehicles are at risk of accidents that could cause a variety of injuries.
Most grocery stores do not have metal detectors or other systems to identify customers carrying weapons. Unfortunately, any store open to the public today could be the site of a mass shooting in which employees might be wounded or killed.
A defective conveyor belt, box-crushing machine, or other device can cause injuries to hands, fingers, and other body parts.
What to Do If You Are Injured on the Job In Myrtle Beach
In order to receive workers’ comp benefits for your grocery store injury, you must take steps to initiate the claims process. If your injury requires emergency care, seek treatment at the nearest medical facility. As soon as possible thereafter, report your accident to your supervisor or a claims representative at your workplace. Include the time, place, and details of your injury and provide names of any witnesses to your accident. If your employer does not file a workers’ comp claim on your behalf, do so yourself by submitting a Form 50 from the website of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).
You’re required to seek ongoing medical care from a physician approved by your employer’s insurer. You may not simply see your own doctor. (Doing so could harm your claim.) Follow the doctor’s orders precisely, keep all appointments, take medication as prescribed, and retain receipts and documentation for all your treatments.
When to Consult a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Attorney
If your injury is minor and your medical bills are low, you might be able to handle your workers’ comp claim on your own as long as it’s not disputed by your employer and you meet all deadlines. If, however, your injury is serious, leading to high medical expenses and significant time off work, you’re likely to need the services of a workers’ comp lawyer to help you pursue fair benefits. An attorney can also help you if:
- Your employer tries to fire or retaliate against you for filing.
- You’re not satisfied with your doctor or your treatment.
- The insurer is slow to approve necessary treatments.
- You’re forced back to work too soon.
- Your claim is denied.