Accidents can impact a retail stores bottom line hard. While the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to ensure the safety of their workers, it is up to retailers to also provide a safe shopping environment for their customers. If you fail to regularly inspect your store, fix hazards and warn your customers of potential dangers, you could be setting yourself up for a costly liability claim.
Visual Merchandising Hazards
Falling merchandise is a common cause of injury in retail store settings. It is essential to properly fasten fixtures securely to your walls and avoid overcrowding them with products explains the experts at Zurich Services. Floor-to-ceiling displays need to be adequately secured to prevent falling onto unsuspecting shoppers. Make sure your mannequins are adequately supported by tightening the support rods at the base plate. Use retail sign holders to give customers proper notice of potential hazards.
Your sales floor isn’t the only place you need to look for hazards, overhead signs that are not adequately fastened to the ceiling grids can fall, and signs that are hung too low also pose a safety risk. When lighting your displays, make sure you take certain precautions to prevent customers from tripping over cords, getting shocked by damaged wires, or burned by hot bulbs.
It is essential for retail stores to keep their floor surface dry and free of debris to decrease the chances of a customer becoming injured. Slip and fall accidents are the most common accident in a retail store setting. You can reduce the amount of dirt and water tracked into your store by using floor mats. Using mats with non-skid backs can reduce the amount of water and dirt tracked in by 91%. Train employees to promptly clean up spills, and post caution signs in areas that are prone to slipperiness. To help eliminate tripping hazards, keep your aisles clear of boxes and merchandise.
Special events and promotions are a part of every retail establishment. It is critical to the success of your store to properly manage large crowds during these kinds of activities. This is especially true during Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. By proactively planning and preparing for special events can help to decrease instances of injury, and add to the success of your event, according to the National Retail Federation.
To help maintain order, you may want to consider hiring extra staff or scheduling security to help guide shoppers during the rush. You should also place checkout rope lines away from your store’s entryway and post signs to help guide bargain seekers. Other ways to ensure the safety of your customers is by keeping shopping carts away from your doors and utilizing headsets or radios for staff communication.
Keeping your customers safe is a priority for any retail establishment. Taking extra precautions to ensure your store is free from hazards will not only keep your customers safe but will reduce the chances that you’ll have to face a costly liability claim.