Although Health and Safety within the retail sector would generally be perceived to be low risk compared to other industries such as health and safety matters in construction and engineering trades, In 2005/06 the retail industry reported 13,000 work related accidents. Over 2000 of these accidents were classified as being major injuries such as fractures.
The most common areas where these accidents are happening, and where our health and safety in retail consultants regularly advise clients, relate to:
Slips and Trips
Slips and trips are the highest cause of injury in retail, with over a 1000 major injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive on an annual basis. Half of these accidents are happening in supermarkets and food stores, with sales assistants being most at risk.
In retail, more slips happen than trips and they are mainly due to:
Smooth recently cleaned floors being left wet
Spills not being cleaned up quickly and properly
Failing to keep the floor free from contamination.
Our health and safety consultants regularly advise clients to:
Use lifts and trolleys where appropriate.
Break packages down into smaller more manageable sizes.
Only carry what you can reasonably manage.
Store heavy stock and large boxes in areas where they can be suitably accessed without the need for overreaching or having to bend.
Other health and safety considerations in Retail
If you employ more that 5 persons do you have a documented fire risk assessment and fire emergency plan for the premises?
Are your electrical appliances and installation maintained periodically?
Have all staff been suitably trained in their individual responsibilities and duties.