Work Safe


The retail industry comprises a large sector of the United States economy with workers selling everything from motor vehicles and parts to electronics to clothing, food and beverages, and beyond. While the products and environments they work in may differ greatly from one business to the next, safety and health concerns should be top of mind among all retail workers.

Understanding the role of prevention and committing to a safety program can go a long way toward decreasing exposure to hazards and eliminating workplace incidents altogether. By implementing a safety program you can help your organization commit to building a friendlier environment with fewer distractions—a place your employees and customers look forward to going to.

Do I really need a retail safety program?

When you’re weighing the importance of dedicating time and resources to the safety, health and security of your staff, consider these alarming statistics related to the wholesale and retail sectors of private industry:

  • The wholesale and retail sector represented 15.5% of the private sector work population in 2006, yet it accounted for 20.1% of nonfatal injuries and illnesses of the private sector.
  • Three subsectors had injury/illness rates well above the national average: beer/wine/liquor (8.4/100); building materials/supplies (7.6/100); and grocery-related products (7.0/100).
  • Occupational deaths with the highest rates were found in gasoline stations (9.8/100,000), convenience stores (6.1/100,000), and used car dealers (5.5/100,000).
  • Overexertion and contact with objects/equipment represent the top two events or exposures leading to injury or illness—accounting for 57% of nonfatal injuries and illnesses.

Source: “Occupational Fatalities, Injuries, Illnesses, and Related Economic Loss in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector,” American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2010.

What’s the real cost of workplace injury?
The impact of workplace injury and illness extends far beyond the costs of medical care, especially when you consider these indirect areas of impact:

  • Morale
  • Group health insurance costs
  • Effects on family members
  • Loss in productivity
  • Skill replacement
  • Tight employment market
  • Cost of hiring new employees

According to data compiled by Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance, the average cost of a lost-time claim is more than $20,000—a cost that could easily be avoided through a genuine commitment to workplace safety.


Do you have questions about how Missouri Employers Mutual or the WorkSAFE Center can help your workplace? Contact us today to learn more about our resources and custom safety training.

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