Despite seemingly constant warnings that online shopping is making brick-and-mortar stores obsolete, retail stores continue to thrive and hire new staff regularly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail businesses employ more than 4 million salespeople. While working in retail may not be the riskiest profession, there are certainly hazards that staff must be aware of.
Staying aware of the injuries that are most common in retail can help you minimize the likelihood of such accidents. Consider the following three ways in which retail staff can proactively minimize hazards and make the workplace safer for all employees.
1. Keep floors dry
One of the most common causes of workplace accidents is a slip and fall. If floors are wet and there is no warning in place, customers are not the only ones who may be vulnerable to injuries. Employees, too, can easily slip, fall and sustain serious injuries in the process. It is important to mop up any liquids on the floor as soon as possible and place appropriate warnings near the wet floor.
2. Follow safety procedures
It is unfortunately true that many injuries occur across every sector because of employees who fail to observe established safety guidelines. It may seem like no big deal to take shortcuts and disregard the safety guidelines that have been set forth by your employer, but in reality, these protocols have been developed to keep employees safe and minimize the risk of injuries on the job.
3. Lift with caution
Retail work often includes lifting and carrying objects that can be heavy. Muscle strains and sprains are some of the most common injuries in any workplace, and in a retail workplace, employees can be particularly vulnerable. It is important to lift with the knees rather than the back when lifting anything that feels like it may be heavy.
Staying aware of the most common causes of workplace injuries can help employees minimize their risk of an on-the-job injury. If an employee sustains an injury in spite of following safety guidelines, it is important to follow proper documentation procedures so the employer can take appropriate action for any necessary workers’ compensation.