When people think of dangerous professions, they may think of construction work, industrial jobs or jobs involving hazardous materials. They likely do not often think of grocery store workers. However, New York residents that work in grocery stores face a variety of health hazards on a daily basis. While some of these hazards come in the form of equipment used in the grocery store, the most common hazard is from repetitive injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries occur when people perform the same task over and over again. This puts stress on their joints and muscles causing serious health issues. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, is often caused by repetitive stress.

The introduction of automatic scanners in grocery stores has created the potential for repetitive injuries among grocery store employees. In years past, workers got brakes while scanning items. However, the new technology allows the process to be done so quickly that workers can unknowingly hurt themselves. According to some studies, a grocery store worker can handle up to 6,000 pounds of groceries in an eight hour shift. During this time, workers have been shown to flick their wrist up to 600 times in an hour.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has tried to enact regulations to help prevent repetitive stress injuries for grocery workers. However, these regulations have not been adopted into law. Therefore, it is up to each store to voluntarily adopt these regulations.

Repetitive stress injuries, such as those suffered by grocery store workers, can make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue working. In these situations, New York worker should understand their legal rights. Worker’s compensation may be available to workers who have suffered repetitive stress injuries. By speaking with an attorney, injured workers can get a fuller picture of their legal rights.