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Why are retail workers feeling less safe?

Over the last few years, you have probably experienced a shortage of retail workers through long lines, understocked shelves and a lack of help on the floor. However, did you know that one reason for this shortage is that retail workers actually feel unsafe at work?

This is what you should know about retail workers’ challenges.

Increased violence

Anyone who has seen the news in the last few years should recognize the sharp increase in violence against retail workers. Customers yell at, harass and even physically assault these individuals. Unfortunately, this leaves workers feeling unsafe. In fact, 40% of frontline workers reported feeling unsafe at their job due to physical threats.

In addition, 2022 saw 694 fatalities due to violence, which is an increase of 17% from 2021 and 35% from 2019. In fact, between January and November 2022, 112 people died from gun violence at Walmart stores, not to mention the thousands that get assaulted, including sexual assault, each year.

Retail theft

Theft has become a daily occurrence for many retail stores. In fact, some cities and states have ceased prosecuting these crimes, resulting in greater threats. Unfortunately, this crime increases retail workers’ anxieties and decreases their safety. They experience diminished happiness and increases in stress.

Greater workloads

Staff shortages require workers to take on more work. They may have to do jobs that they have not received training for or that are outside their physical capacity. These workers may even work extra shifts, overtime or double shifts. This workload can result in fatigue, which places them at risk of greater stress and workplace injuries.

Fortunately, workers injured at work, including in violent attacks, can receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, these retail stores need to adopt strategies that combat unsafe worker conditions.