Helping Store Employees Deal Efficiently With Workplace Injuries

The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor reveal that in 2018, there were 2.8 million workplace accidents reported by private industry employers. Although this overall figure remains the same as the previous year, the number of accidents in retail rose slightly, accounting for 14% of all illnesses and injuries in the private sector. The most reported injuries by retail workers are sprains, strains, cuts and fractures.  Most of these injuries are avoidable, and implementing measures to optimize staff safety by preventing accidents must be a priority. However, if an accident should occur, it is also important for both business owners and all retail staff to be properly trained and equipped to deal efficiently with the consequences.

Implementing Clear Procedures

Taking adequate steps to prevent workplace injuries is vital, but it is also important to implement procedures for your staff to follow in the event of an accident.  To deal quickly and efficiently with an accident or injury, they should know who to call, and how to clearly report and record the circumstances. Although the majority of business organizations practice fire drills, over 50% of workers report that they are never asked to run through procedures for other hazardous situations. Up to date emergency plans and open communication with all staff can help them feel more prepared, and give employers greater peace of mind.

Educating and Training Employees

In addition to general procedures, more specific training can enable staff to deal with a variety of emergencies that could occur in store. Whether an employee has cut themselves on packaging or a customer has slipped on a wet floor, staff trained in basic first aid will be able to provide quick and effective treatment.  As well as a setting for potential accidents, stores can be a target for crime, but educating employees on how to deal safely with cash can minimize the risk of robbery and assault. Using a buddy system when cashing up at night, and making regular trips to a drop safe, will help to keep store staff safer from criminals.

Providing Adequate Safety Equipment

As well as first aid training, employees should be provided with adequate first aid supplies. For a small store, a basic kit to treat minor wounds and burns is sufficient, but in a higher risk environment such as a large warehouse, more sophisticated supplies may be required. According to the Seattle Fire Department, up to 80,000 fires break out in business premises each year. Although drills and emergency plans will ensure staff can exit the building safely, the provision of fire extinguishers means that, in the case of a small fire, they can prevent damage to property and injury to staff. All staff should be shown how to use the extinguishers, and they should be regularly inspected to ensure they are functioning properly

In any retail setting, there will always be a potential for accidents to occur.  By providing clear instructions, up to date training and adequate safety equipment, employers can be reassured that, if accidents and injuries do occur, their staff will be able to deal with them promptly and efficiently.

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