How can small retailers keep staff safe?

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Although small retail workplaces are not as dangerous as those in industries like mining or forestry, employees still need to have the right equipment and practices in place to keep them safe at work.

Here are three areas in the typical retail workplace where businesses can implement or update their equipment and safety policies to limit the hazards workers face.

In the stock room

Sprains and strains are the most common workplace injuries, according to SafeWork Australia. When staff handle large numbers of boxes and heavy items in stock rooms, there are many different ways that injuries like these can occur.

Managers need to be sure their staff understand these risks and have the means to prevent them. Fortunately, equipment like lifters and electric tow tugs can prevent physical strain when workers need to move stock. Employees must also be trained on the safest way to physically move large loads in bins and on trolleys. These training sessions are an easy way for managers to reduce the risks of strain in the stock room.

Back office

In a small retail operation, managers will spend most of their time in the back room completing paperwork. While this might be safer than work in the stock room, there is still a chance of injury.

Workers who spend long periods of time at a computer will need training on when and how to take breaks to prevent eye and back strain. Proper storage is also important to keep heavy boxes safely stowed away in the office.

On the shop floor

A shop floor is where most staff spend the majority of their time, so it’s important to manage risks proactively in this space. With staff spending large parts of their day on their feet, it’s important to take steps to prevent strain to the legs, hips and back.

Investing in equipment like anti-fatigue matting behind a sales counter will ensure that workers are comfortable while serving customers, and can prevent long-term stress on joints caused by standing.

There is a range of safety equipment available to support retail workers in conjunction with an up-to-date health and safety policy, so managers can easily prevent risks and ensure employee wellbeing.

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