When it comes to safety in retail, there are many instances that can cause damage to employees or customers throughout the working day. While slips, trips, and falls are the most common types of accidents in the industry, they aren’t the only way an employee or customer can become hurt and if you aren’t paying attention to the health and safety aspects of running your site, then these hazards will have increased tenfold.
While it can pay to have someone come to your premises to check over your operations and help you find solutions to potential risks and hazards, implement corrections, and ensure these are maintained and followed up, it is an ongoing task all business owners need to be on top of..
It goes without saying that everyone from the top down needs training on all aspects of health and safety in the workplace. They need to know how to work safely, the risks presented to them if they don’t, and how to report any instances that breach your policy or accidents that occur.
Don’t just tell them not to do something; explain the reason behind why you need to operate a certain way and the consequences should they fail to adhere to safety policies.
You need all of your equipment to be in good, safe working order, and you need to have equipment that helps employees work safely and without the risk of injuries. Again, they also need to be fully trained in how to use the equipment safely. From step ladders, kick stools, roll pallets for food businesses to move and transport stock around warehouses and shop floors, safety equipment for handling heavy loads or sharp objects, and PPE that can limit damage to their body when working. This can vary depending on your store type, from padded jackets and gloves for working in freezer departments, disposable gloves for touching food, goggles and ear protectors when working in warehouses to bring deliveries in, etc.
Fire Extinguishers and Emergency Exits
There are many ways that a fire can be started on your premises, and having adequate fire extinguishers to help you mitigate the risk and tackle fires when safe to do so can help your employees have an added layer of protection. You need both standard and electrical fire extinguishers on your premises, and everyone needs to know how to access them and how to use them, as well as when not to attempt to use them.
Make sure everyone knows where the emergency exits are and your fire safety protocol for clearing the story of customers and then getting themselves to safety as quickly as possible. Keep all emergency exits clear and well-lit to be accessible in an emergency.
As we said before, slips, trips, and falls are the most common types of accidents that can happen in retail, along with accidents from manual lifting. But making sure these hazards are eliminated by ensuring nothing is left on the floor and employees are proactive in picking up rubbish or fallen products is vital. Everyone needs to be doing their bit to keep the floor free from anything that can cause an accident and be aware of how others are treating the store to minimize the risk of accidents. This also includes:
- Not leaving boxes on the floor of the trip.
- Not leaving cardboard.
- Plastic wrapping.
- Strapping on the floor or leaving equipment where people can fall over it or hurt themselves.
Safety in retail is an ongoing continuous process, and you need to ensure everyone is doing their part automatically for a collective effort that boosts health and safety in your workplace and reduces incidents.