Retail & Shop Safety
Shop Safety & Safety for Retail Outlets
With our increasingly litigious society, shops and retail outlets are all too aware that overlooking safety could end up with a trip to court and a hefty settlement.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have identified the following areas as the most common accident causes for the retail industry:
- Slips and trips
- Manual handling (lifting heavy objects)
- Falls from heights
Even small shops have a legal duty to ensure that its employees have a safe working environment.
Tips on retail safety – protecting staff and visitors
Conducting a shop safety risk assessment should identify likely hazards and risks. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure!
Preventing slips, trips and falls
- Keep your retail outlet clean and tidy to prevent these most common accidents
- Monitor the physical state of your flooring – loose carpet tiles, torn vinyl flooring and flooring that has been cleaned with substances that make it slippery are all common accident causes
- Clear up any spills straight away and use warning notices
- Pay special attention to stairways – these are high risk for staff and general public alike
Electrical Safety in Shops
Ensure your portable electrical appliances are tested by a qualified electrician specific for this purpose. Mains circuit testing is also required every 5 years. A common fire hazard is an overloaded electrical point (overuse of extension leads) so this should be avoided.
When were your electrical appliances last inspected?
Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for all businesses (even one-person operations). These must be done for EACH shop location. This aids fire prevention and ensures swift evacuation of the premises by employees and the public in the event of a fire.
When was your last shop fire risk assessment carried out?
Once it has been conducted, it is necessary to review it on a regular basis – ideally annually. If a shop has had a recent refit, this may have impacted on your fire safety measurements.
- Ensure you have clear escape route signs. Escape routes must be kept clear of obstructions and that your staff are aware of the evacuation procedure. Arrange regular practices to reinforce this.
- Ensure that you make a specific member of your staff responsible for customers’ and visitors’ safety in the event of an emergency.
Manual handling for shops and retail outlets
Preventing injuries caused by manual lifting of heavy items is also the subject of regulations and solutions to this problem can easily be achieved.
- If loads must be manually lifted, ensure they are carried by at least two people and that training in lifting techniques is provided.
- Provide mechanical equipment e.g. trolleys to assist staff in unloading and moving deliveries. In addition, ensure deliveries are as close as possible to the location where they will be stored or used.
Are your manual handling safety issues covered? Why not let us help!
Accident reporting and investigation
First-aid kits need to be accessible at all times – do staff know where it is and who the first aiders are?
Regardless of the size of your business, make sure that all accidents and incidents are recorded and investigated as lessons can be learned to prevent them in future. Ensure all staff know where to report accidents both to themselves and to your customers.