Your everyday life is good. All is going swimmingly in your private life and your work in the retail industry is going well. You enjoy the interaction with both colleagues and customers and take great pride in your role. So why not go it alone and open your own store?
You are certain that you have the know-how to succeed and the local council is offering units at good prices at present, so you also decide to recruit an assistant at the same time. However, one aspect wherein you have limited knowledge in requires expertise in health and safety.
When you are out and about in the retail world, it is essential to be aware of some things you can do to avoid getting injured. Retail workers are at a high risk for injury, so you may have to have a firm grasp of appropriate precautions to take in order to avoid or at least lessen instances of injuries. For that, you may have to seek the help of health and safety consultants in the UK or in wherever you are in the world.
Below are some of the injuries commonly suffered by workers in the retail industry:
- Muscle Strains & Sprains – These are the most common of injuries in retail which is caused by a lack of training in the proper techniques for lifting, pulling and pushing heavy loads, as well as from repeating the same movement that puts pressure on the joints. To alleviate this form of injury, it is a prudent idea to enlist the help of expert companies who will offer advice and training as part of their service.
- Cuts & Scrapes – These come in at number two, mainly caused by the misuse of sharp tools or catching bodies on the edges of framework and structures. Fixed notices reminding employees of the dangers will help warn them of the dangers.
- Falls & Slips – These can be common in a workplace or retail outlet, which can be caused by the staff not acting on possible dangers. They often occur because of wet floors or uneven walkways. Falls from a ladder or scaffolding can also result in a variety of injuries. If in doubt while in a role overseeing staff, it is important to speak to experts, and there’s a 24 hour H&S advice helpline being offered by an outsourced HR agency so you could find assistance any time of day or night, especially in times of emergency. Meanwhile, appropriate signage needs to be put in place warning of any wet areas. It is important to keep a clear area around anyone working above ground level by putting barriers or having a watch person.
- Physical attacks – It is not nice to think about workplace violence, but unfortunately, incidents of workplace violence are on the rise. Though it is occupations within the healthcare and social service industries that experience the highest rates of workplace violence. Background checks, a strict anti-violence policy, training and awareness, and security systems such as having CCTV in place (take a look at the Verisure website for this) can all help to reduce the possibility of attack and keep staff safe.
Falling objects are also a peril in the retail industry, owing to poor stacking of shelves. In the worst-case scenario, a person bumping into such storage units can cause them to topple along with the items on it. Make sure that shelves are stacked safely and ask for advice if you are not sure. Keeping everyone safe and well on your premises is your duty of care so do not neglect it. You might want to celebrate your good housekeeping with any employees to build a further rapport at a local event.
Speaking to consultants in health and safety will save you time as well as money in days lost by being unable to attend work and in possible lawsuits. With the guidance of health and safety specialists, you can reduce the risk for employees and customers alike.