Get the compensation you deserve after a work injury at The Home Depot
The world’s largest DIY home improvement retailer, The Home Depot, operates 2,300 stores across North America, including 26 in South Carolina.
Workers at The Home Depot perform their job duties in a large warehouse setting that also involves shoppers maneuvering around the store. Workers must perform many tasks, including:
- Operating forklifts and other heavy equipment
- Stocking shelves
- Mixing paint
- Loading and unloading carts
- Helping customers move heavy items from the store to their vehicles
Cashiers and customer service workers at The Home Depot are required to stand in the checkout area on the cement floor and process transactions.
Working in The Home Depot’s warehouse-like conditions among throngs of customers can leave workers susceptible to certain workplace injuries. Fortunately, injured South Carolina workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured on the job.
What are the most common workplace injuries at The Home Depot
There are several ways in which a Home Depot worker can get hurt on the job:
- Slip-and-fall injuries. The cement flooring at Home Depot stores and the numerous stocked shelves create the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Most Home Depot stores have a garden center that often has wet floors due to the workers continually watering the plants the retailer sells.
- Chemical burns and respiratory issues. The retailer also sells paint, pesticides, cleaning agents, solvents and other chemicals. Employees who work with chemicals may be at risk of sustaining chemical burns or breathing difficulties due to exposure to toxic elements.
- Amputation. The store’s lumbar-cutting equipment places employees at risk of injury to body parts that may be in close proximity to sharp components.
- Overexertion injuries. Heavy lifting is often a part of the job for Home Depot workers. Lifting wood, heavy bags of cement, boxes of tile, landscaping stones and other merchandise can cause back injuries, muscle strains and sprains.
- Violence. Because The Home Depot is open to the public, workers may also become involved in potentially dangerous confrontations with customers.
Workplace injuries statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021, approximately 2.6 million U.S. workers experienced nonfatal workplace injuries or illnesses.
While the majority of these injuries and illnesses occurred in the health care sector, retail ranked second, with injuries and illnesses increasing from around 341,000 cases in 2020 to almost 405,000 cases in 2021.
Overall, retail workers and healthcare workers share some of the same workplace hazards due to their contact with the public, heavy lifting and the slip-and-fall hazards to which they’re exposed.
Employees who are injured on the job in South Carolina may be eligible to receive a number of different benefits, including medical benefits, wage loss benefits, disability compensation and more. Workers’ comp resources.
Workers’ comp for Home Depot employees
Most South Carolina companies with 4 or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp is no-fault insurance, which means that employees don’t have to prove their employer was to blame for the accident in order to receive benefits. Injured workers only need to prove that their injury or illness occurred within the course and scope or their job.
Workers’ comp insurance is intended to make benefits available to workers without the lengthy process of examining whether the employer or the employee was at fault in the accident that caused the injury.
In the event that an employee is injured in an accident or becomes ill while on the job, the employee may file a workers’ comp claim to receive payments for the following:
- Medical expenses for all necessary medical care and equipment, including doctor and emergency room visits, medications, rehabilitation and surgeries.
- Lost wages for a period of time that depends on the type and severity of your illness or injury. Workers are typically entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wages while they recover from their injuries.
- Death benefits for certain dependents if a worker dies from their injuries.
Home Depot workers who are injured while at work can file a workers’ comp claim to receive these benefits for their injuries.
In the news:
Home Depot worker trapped under a forklift
A Home Depot worker in New York sustained serious injuries after being trapped under a forklift at one of the home improvement retailer’s Monroe stores. Local firefighters were dispatched to the store to remove the heavy equipment. State troopers were also on the scene administering care to the injured worker before an ambulance arrived to transport them to the emergency room.
How to file a workers’ compensation claim after a job injury
Below are the necessary steps to file a workers’ comp claim and receive benefits in South Carolina:
- Seek medical care. Injured workers should see a doctor as soon as possible after a work injury to prevent the injury from getting worse and to get documentation establishing a connection between their injury and a work accident or event. Failure to get medical help often makes it more difficult to get workers’ comp benefits.
- Notify your employer of your injury or illness. To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, injured workers must notify their employer within 90 days of the date their injury occurred or they became aware of their accident or injury. If you don’t notify the employer within 90 days, you may be barred from collecting any workers’ compensation benefits.
- Verify that your employer filed a claim. After receiving notification, the employer is required to file a claim with their insurance company. Follow up with your employer to make sure they filed your claim with their insurer.
- Contact an attorney. If your employer does not file a claim, you may do so by filing Form 50, but we recommend that you contact an attorney to help you with the process, as this is a sign that your employer is likely to fight your claim. A workers’ compensation attorney can also help you file an appeal if your claim is denied.
What are the potential challenges for injured Home Depot employees in a workers’ compensation claim?
Under certain circumstances, a workers’ comp claim may be denied.
- Workers are not eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits if the workplace injury was intentionally self-inflicted.
- Workers who were intoxicated at the time of the accident are also generally barred from receiving workers’ comp benefits.
Other challenges arise solely due to the employer’s conduct. For example, the employer may not actually have workers’ comp insurance, or the employer may refuse to file the necessary paperwork.
In other instances, the worker may receive benefits, but the compensation amount may be too low, or the employer-approved doctor may send the worker back to work too soon.
Injured workers may file Form 50 or Form 52 to challenge the outcome of a claim. A workers’ comp attorney can help workers explore their available legal options.
Seeking remedy through workers’ compensation
Home depot employees generally have the right to receive compensation for their injuries by filing a workers’ comp claim. Some cases are more complicated than others; therefore, workers should contact an attorney prior to filing a claim.
A workers’ comp attorney can evaluate the facts of your case, negotiate with your employer and their insurance company, and ensure all necessary paperwork is filed on time.
If you’ve been injured on the job in South Carolina, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Chappell, Chappell and Newman. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for injured workers across the state of South Carolina, and we’d love the opportunity to help you, too.
Contact us today for a free consultation.