Although working in retail is (for the most part) pretty safe, accidents do happen – some of which are more serious than others. These involve both staff and members of the general public, so, as a retailer, health and safety guidelines must be adhered to. It helps to minimize the number of accidents that occur and keep everyone safe on the shop floor.
Here are the 5 workplace hazards in the retail industry and how to prevent them.
Many accidents occur due to employees lifting heavy items without using the correct and safest methods. It can result in long term injury or an inability to carry out their role effectively. Staff should be aware of weight limits and given direction on lifting items with the least possible strain on their muscles and joints.
Just like any other workplace set up, employees must be aware of the fire safety policy. As well as being told where fire exits are, they should know where to go once they have exited the building. Every company should have at least one fire marshall and a register of employees working each day kept. They must be trained and be confident in dealing with customers and employees in the event of a fire.
Trips, slips, and falls
Trips, slips, and falls happen regularly in the retail industry. They are actually one of the most common when it comes to personal injury claims against big retailers like Walmart. From spilled milk to boxes left on the shop floor, these issues should be addressed as soon as recognized by staff. Warning signs should be located nearby, liquids mopped up, and any boxes or other debris removed immediately. The lower the number of hazards, the less risk of injury. At least one staff member should also be trained in first aid in case an accident does occur.
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When stores are the victim of crime, employees can be placed in great danger because they never know what’s going to happen next or how a thief or criminal might react. Staff must be aware of the policy when dealing with these situations, or things could become even more dangerous.
In some cases, employees have been attacked, threatened, or (in extreme cases) stabbed, so they must know the impact that approaching these people could have. If they are not trained to deal with such situations, they should ring the police and leave them to deal with it instead.
The aftermath of a heavy object falling from a great height can prove fatal, so products that exceed a specified weight must be placed at a lower level. It will help to keep both customers and staff safe when reaching for products.
Hazard signs directed towards customers can help to reduce accident levels and may also keep a company protected from being sued should an incident occur. Employees should have access to ladders and stools, but these shouldn’t remain on the shop floor after use.