If a retail worker injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Retail workers are exposed to the risk of injury from slips, falls, or lifting, often leading to compensation claims centred around unsafe work conditions and recovery costs.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury at work, we can help. If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
With around 70,000 retail workers injuried each year, you are not alone
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 a single year, 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 decide to make a retail worker injury claim, your work accident solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Do I have a retail worker injury claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
What if I was partly to blame?
Liability for an accident often involves fault on both sides.
In our recent 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.
You could still be able to claim even if you were partly responsible for the accident. Even if an employee's mistake caused the accident, your employer would usually be liable, so you can still claim compensation.
How much compensation can I claim for a retail worker injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Retail worker injury
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your retail worker injury such as pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy.
Psychological trauma following work accidents
If you have suffered psychological harm as a result of an accident at work, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey shows how prevalent psychological injuries are in the workplace. 25.03% of claimants report suffering a psychological injury, 62.38% of which were related to a physical injury.
Traumatic injuries suffered when working in retail can lead to PTSD and anxiety about busy, public spaces.
Psychiatric injuries can negatively affect your physical recovery and hinder your return to work. Fearing stigma or a disregard of their mental health issues, some employees are reluctant to voice their concerns.
Diagnosable psychiatric injuries, such as PTSD, are recognised in the guidelines for calculating compensation. The cost of treatment and support for these injuries should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
Common accidents affecting retail staff
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.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
If you are injured at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.
Employers' liability claims claims
Work accident claims, or employers' liability claims, differ from other types of claim. Click on the icons below to read more about claiming:
How we can help you with your work accident claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
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Helen Goddard, Legal researcher
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.