The risk management considerations in this sector are varied and far reaching. Guidance on some of the key issues to consider are supplied below.
Your clients should review the following key areas.
- Slips and trips
- HSE statistics indicate that slips and trips are the highest cause of injury in retail; accounting for half of the accidents that happen in supermarkets and food stores. Most slips happen on contaminated or wet floors whilst poor housekeeping is the most common cause of trips. Simple changes to procedures can therefore hugely reduce this problem.
- The risk of violence being used against employees is unfortunately a very real one in the retail sector. Systems need to be put in place to prevent or reduce aggressive behaviour. Staff training, speed dial for the police or to call for colleague back up and discreet emergency panic alarms can help minimise the risk.
- Internal transport and materials handling
- A surprising number of people are hurt in the delivery areas of premises. Ensuring that vehicles and pedestrians are kept separate wherever possible is one precaution that could help to minimise this risk.
- Manual handling
- Businesses should consider ordering supplies in smaller packages and ensuring that heavier items are stored at lower levels. Suitable handling aids must be provided, where appropriate. Clients must produce and disseminate specific written safety rules to all relevant employees.
- Fire precautions
- A fire risk assessment will help to identify measures to reduce the fire risk at retail or wholesale premises. Recommendations may include staff training, correct waste disposal and maintenance of perimeters and fuel stores.
- Emergency evacuation
- Are the means of escape maintained and clearly sign-posted? Are employees trained to carry out emergency evacuations and practiced in this? Have your clients considered drawing up a joint procedure with adjacent shops or warehouse units?
- Cash machines
- The majority of attacks on these machines come in the form of ram raiding. There are many practical ways that businesses can minimise this threat.
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