Retail worker injury compensation claims
This easy-to-follow guide sets out everything you should know about making a retail staff accident compensation claim.
Retail should be a relatively safe sector in which to work, but an employer's negligence can still expose workers to a wide range of hazards, such as wet floors, heavy stock loads, trolleys and packaging left in shop aisles and poorly maintained equipment.
In 2014, 45% of retailers faced a compensation claim from an employee who was injured in the course of carrying out their duties.
Slips, trips and falls and manual handling accidents are the most common types of accidents that happen in shops and supermarkets. However, there are also a relatively high number of accidents involving falling objects, moving vehicles and machinery.
Any member of retail staff who is injured in a shop or supermarket accident may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. This is a type of work accident claim brought against the owner of the retail outlet and their insurance company.
If you were injured working as a retail worker in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Quittance's solicitors have assisted in a wide range of claims on behalf of retail workers. Some of the most common preventable accidents in the retail sector are set out below.
Slips, trips and falls
Large stores and supermarkets in particular are at risk of spillages, breakages and obstacles in the aisles, delivery bays and overfilled stockrooms. Slip, trip and fall accidents may occur if those hazards are not quickly identified and removed.
Retail operators are expected to put in place a system for the regular inspection and clearing of floor surfaces, both in store and in staff-only areas. Where hazards cannot be dealt with immediately, warning signs must be used to alert staff of the danger. Failure to follow these measures may expose the employer to a personal injury claim.
Lifting and manual handling accidents
Items for sale may be bulky, heavy and difficult to carry. Lifting these items may lead to back injury, neck injury or injuries to arms and legs. Supermarket shelf stackers are at particular risk, particularly if they have not received adequate training or have been asked to lift inappropriately heavy objects.
Manually lifting heavy objects should be avoided wherever possible. Employers have a duty to risk assess the work task and provide suitable equipment to minimise the amount of manual handling involved. Where lifting cannot be avoided, training should be provided on the proper safety techniques.
Being hit by falling objects
Poorly stacked goods are at risk of falling from a supermarket shelf, display rack or stockroom, particularly while an employee is loading or unloading goods. Injuries can be quite serious, ranging from cuts and lacerations to broken bones and head trauma.
Retail operators must ensure that goods are safely stacked so that shelves do not become over-loaded, top-heavy or unstable. They must also train staff on the proper shelf stacking techniques.
Being hit by a moving vehicle
Over 5,000 reported accidents a year involve workplace transport, such as forklift truck accidents, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive. Retail staff are at risk if they regularly access warehousing facilities, loading areas or delivery bays.
Employers have a duty to ensure that all vehicles used in the workplace are fit for purpose and in good repair. They must also ensure that staff are trained in the operation of the vehicle and that supervision is given where appropriate.
Defective equipment injuries
Retail stores and supermarkets often house potentially dangerous machinery such as meat slicers, bread slicers and bakery ovens. Dangerous machinery accidents can cause crush, laceration or amputation injuries, the consequences of which are recognised by the Courts as being severe and potentially life-altering.
Retail operators must ensure that machinery is regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and that staff are trained in its safe operation. Guards and automatic shut off mechanisms should be fitted wherever necessary to reduce the risk of injury.
Is the employer liable for retail staff injured at work?
All retail operators have a legal duty to protect their employees and customers against the risk of accident and injury.
A range of legislation, including the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, is in place to ensure that if an employer fails in this duty, the employee may be able to claim compensation if they suffer injury as a result.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
A no win no fee agreement (technically referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and an injury solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is in essence the terms and conditions under which the solicitor is instructed by the client.
It details what the solicitor will do and how he is remunerated if the claim is won.
If you instruct Quittance Personal Injury for your shop staff accident claim there are no additional fees , nothing to pay up-front and the comfort that you wont be out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our work accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Meet the team
The national panel of QLS solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of work accident claim, from fast track claims to serious, long-term injury. Selected on the basis of their track record in winning cases, our lawyers have years of experience.
About the author
Helen is an award-winning legal researcher and author. She is an experienced court litigation report proofreader and has written extensively on legal matters.
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