Wholesale and Retail Trade

Burden, Need and Impact

NIOSH strives to maximize its impact in occupational safety and health. The Wholesale and Retail Trade (WRT) Program identifies priorities to guide investments, and base those priorities on the evidence of burden, need and impact.

Three Female Sales Assistants Working In Clothing And Gift Store

Overall, from 2006 through 2016, the WRT workforce experienced a roughly 5% disproportionate share of the burden of nonfatal injuries and illnesses as compared with private industry burden of nonfatal injuries and illnesses. In 2016, WRT nonfatal injuries at work cost employers $17,635 billion for workers’ compensation medical benefits and lost wages [Putz et al. 2019].

The disproportionate number of injuries/illnesses may be attributed to a set of high-risk subsectors within the WRT sector. Wholesale subsectors with elevated nonfatal rates in wholesale included durable and nondurable goods, recycling, motor parts, lumber, metal and mineral, grocery, and alcohol merchants. Retail subsectors with elevated rates included motor parts dealers, gasoline stations, nonstore, tire, home/garden centers, supermarkets, meat markets, warehouse clubs, pet stores, and fuel dealers.

From 2006–2016, wholesale sector fatality rates exceeded private industry rates. The largest causal fatal factors were transportation in wholesale and violence in retail.

Below are the priority areas for WRT.

Putz Anderson V, Schulte PA, Novakovich J, Pfirman D, Bhattacharya A. Wholesale and retail trade sector occupational fatal and nonfatal injuries and illnesses from 2006 to 2016: Implications for intervention. Am J Ind Med. 2019;00. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.23063

Page last reviewed: May 21, 2018