The Pain of Retail: Common Cashier Ailments and Workers’ Compensation Rights
Even though it’s often a thankless job, good cashiers will go out of their way to be pleasant and helpful to each and every customer. In may cases, they push through discomfort to do their job as best as they can. However, after long hours of standing, twisting, scanning, and lifting heavy bags, there comes a time stamina can no longer disguise the pain.
Retail and grocery store cashiers often suffer from repetitive-use injuries that can sideline them from earning a living. Some of these injuries are unavoidable—after all, there is no way around reaching for items, scanning them, and bagging them if that’s your job. Sometimes, however, cashiers make these movements harder on themselves without even knowing it. Being aware of what you may be doing wrong could save you lost income down the road.
Avoiding a Cashier Injury
Carpal tunnel syndrome, disc problems, nerve damage, and muscle strains are just a few of the problems that cashiers experience. Sometimes, the pain from a work-related ailment can become so severe to make it impossible to work—a financial disaster for the wage-earner.
Progressive occupational diseases build up over time. They are caused by subtle movements that can easily occur without your realizing it until the pain sets in. To protect yourself and avoid dangerous movements, make sure you adhere (and have your employer help you to adhere) to the following safety measures.
- Power hands, arms, and body. Keep your hands straight, in line with your forearms, and avoid twisting them when scanning merchandise. Keep your elbows close to your body and your work at elbow height. Try adjusting the bag-loading platform to a height that is comfortable for you and doesn’t hurt your back. You should be able to place items in the bags without having to bend forward and reach more than six to ten inches.
- Power feet. Use a footrest and an anti-fatigue mat to prevent pain and exhaustion in your legs and feet.
- Power grip and lift. For the power grip, grasp the bulk of an item with all four fingers and your thumb. Use both hands for bulky or heavy items. When lifting an item, place one hand underneath to support the weight while the other hand is power gripping the top. This procedure will balance the weight and prevent muscle strain.
- Power reach. Avoid reaching more than 16 to 17 inches. Use stop braces on checkout conveyers to prevent having to reach so far, as doing so can harm your back, arms, and neck.
- Power slide. The power slide is simply grabbing an item using the power grip and sliding it by the scanner. When the merchandise is halfway through, use your other hand to push the item over the rest of the scanner.
When Your Efforts Fail
If your injuries are a result of your job duties, you likely deserve workers’ compensation. After all, it’s not fair that doing your job resulted in injuries that prevent you from going to work and making a living. It’s also not fair that you’ll have to pay for medical bills to resolve the ailments from which you’ve suffered.
This is where attorney Steve Lee comes. Workers’ compensation from your employer can help offset lost wages and pay for medical treatment. Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies would rather save their money and have you work injured. Therefore, they’ll deny your claim with any tactic, suspicion, or loophole they can exploit. However, after 30 years of helping employees bag their worker’s comp benefits, attorney Steve Lee knows the game and how to beat it. If you need assistance in applying for the aid or if you’ve been unfairly turned down, contact our office by phone, online, or in person and learn how you may still have an opportunity to secure your benefits.
Still have questions, concerns, or comments about workers’ compensation and cashier injuries? Please, let us know by filling out the comment section provided. We’re eager to hear from you and see what we can do to help.