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Can grocery store workers collect compensation?

| Apr 23, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

There are several jobs associated with a high risk of injuries. Construction work, factory work and emergency response work are often the jobs individuals think of as carrying the most risk for workers.

Not many would think that working in a grocery store is dangerous, but keeping those shelves stocked and providing necessities for the public – especially in the current situation – can be a strenuous job for any worker. Yet, many grocery store workers might wonder: are they covered under Maryland workers’ compensation laws if they suffer an injury?

Yes, grocery store workers are covered

Maryland law presumes almost all workers to be covered under workers’ compensation laws if they are:

  1. Under the service of employers with at least one employee; or
  2. Engaged in an implied contract of hire with such an employer.

This includes grocery store workers (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-202).

Grocery store workers face a wide range of injuries

Working full-time – or even part-time – in a grocery store involves a much higher risk of injury than many people might believe. These workers often have several responsibilities, including:

  • Stocking products on the floor or in the back rooms;
  • Lifting heavy products while stocking or assisting customers;
  • Preparing food, such as in the deli department; or
  • Collecting shopping carts from the parking lots.

Customer service work also places high demands for speed on grocery store workers. This demand for speed in addition to the wide array of their potential responsibilities puts grocery store workers at risk for several injuries each day on the job, including:

  • Slip and fall injuries;
  • Cuts and lacerations;
  • Muscles strains;
  • Broken bones; and
  • Back injuries.

Grocery store workers should make sure they take ergonomic solutions into account to reduce their risk of suffering these injuries. However, they must also be aware of their entitlements to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a serious injury in the course of their work.

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