Retail stores are increasing their safety one step at a time. Businesses have a responsibility to make their stores reasonably safe, and a lot of stores are taking proactive steps to do so. And safety must be put in place not only for customers, but retail workers also have a right to be safe in their workspace.
A few ways that stores are increasing safety include:
Cutting Back on 12+ Hour Shifts
Workers may want overtime and to make more money, but this desire to work more has a major side effect: double the risk of injury compared to workers that work an eight-hour shift. Employers that lower their employees’ shifts to acceptable levels or hire more employees to reduce these shifts are becoming more common.
Employers are paying closer attention to scheduling to reduce these unnecessary risks.
Safety starts with employees, whether they’re on the store floor helping answer a customer’s question or they’re managing the office. Training is becoming a cornerstone in retail, and new workers have a higher risk of injuries.
Retail has a high turnover rate for employees, and making sure that new employees are trained to follow basic safety procedures increases the safety for all parties involved.
Statistically, 17% of small business employees have never received safety training. Businesses are working to teach their employees:
Proper machine and equipment safety
How to spot potential safety risks in the workplace
Proper use of in-store signage
When employees are properly trained and safety equipment is provided, it allows for a safer environment.
Holiday-specific precautions need to be made, especially during major sales events, such as Black Friday when the risk of in-store injuries rise. Larger crowds lead to higher safety concerns, and more shoppers are seen with backpacks, which are another safety issue.
A few of the measures that are being taken are:
Reducing cords and walkway interference
Crowd management measures
Increased employee counts
If retailers are able to properly control the crowds, especially during major sales events, this alone will reduce the risk of injuries. Walmart has failed to do this in the past, leading to some customers being trampled by the crowds in the process.
Contingency plans will also need to be put in place. These plans are meant for those “what if” situations, which stores cannot prepare for properly.
Strategic Placement of Safety Equipment and Signage
Businesses should have signage and safety equipment in the event of a fire, wet floor or other safety concern. Wet floor signs are very common, and this will help customers identify a wet floor to prevent a slip and fall.
These signs should be placed in all wet areas, and they should also be placed in areas where risk of injury is higher.
Sprinklers and fire extinguishers should also be in easy-to-access locations. This way, if a fire occurs the sprinkler has space to properly extinguish the fire. Fire extinguishers will need to be easily accessible to allow employees to react to a potential fire swiftly.