As the 2015 end of financial year rapidly approaches, so too do end of financial year sales. This is a busy time for many retailers!
Poor manual handling practices are responsible for approximately half of the injuries that occur in the retail sector. Many employees handle heavy, unwieldy goods and large boxes as a normal activity at this time. However, moving stock accounts for many injuries, such as ligament, tendon and soft tissue tears, bad backs and even broken bones. Using the wrong access equipment can cause falls and lead to serious injuries. Risks increase greatly during peak periods of activity.
WorkSafe Victoria urges employers and workers in the Victorian retail sector to pay close attention to workplace safety during this busy time of year. Their message to retailers is to make employee safety a key priority at financial year sales time.
WorkSafe inspectors are visiting retail store throughout Victoria, focusing on poor manual handling practices. They are looking closely at warehouses and distribution centres that store and deliver furniture, electrical goods, and whitegoods to retail outlets. Inspectors will focus on appropriate stock handling, basic housekeeping practices, stock control, and storage. They are also making sure that employees are adequately trained and have the correct types of equipment they need to handle stock safely.
At this time of year, nearly eight retail workers are injured per day in Victoria. Many companies employ extra casual staff to help with the extra work, so it is vital to provide enough training and supervision. New and young employees are particularly vulnerable. If young or new employees are unsure how to do something safely, encourage them to speak up and let you know.
WorkSafe urges every workplace to be proactive, and to identify and address safety issues, such as: