Most people probably don’t think that being a cashier in a store is a particularly risky job — especially in a place that’s well-lit, busy and not likely to be the target of robberies. But cashiers actually face some significant injury risks on the job.
If you’re a cashier, the dangers that lie in wait for you may be surprising, particularly when it comes to cumulative trauma injuries.
How cumulative trauma injuries affect cashiers
One of the more difficult injuries that cashiers face is a cumulative trauma injury. These are injuries that creep up over time, rather than those that come from a specific accident or event. This includes things like carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause weakness, numbness and pain in the victim’s wrists and hands, and back injuries that may come from standing for long hours, lifting heavy items into bags and other repetitive actions necessary for the work.
The symptoms of cumulative trauma injuries often seem bothersome at first but don’t really cause any problems. They may even abate with rest. As time progresses and the injury worsens, the symptoms intensify. This can lead to the need for intensive medical care. In some cases, physical therapy and/or surgery are required.
Cashiers can minimize the risk of these injuries occurring by using proper body mechanics while they work. This is sometimes difficult because they may have to focus on ringing items up quickly, which can make it hard to keep proper body positioning.
A cashier who suffers a work-related cumulative trauma injury may need medical care, physical therapy and time off work to recover. These injuries are covered under workers’ compensation so be sure that you get the benefits you’re due. These include paying medical bills, but they can also include wage replacement if you can’t return to work right away. Working with an attorney can ensure you get what you are due.