Hazards and Controls:Retail Industry
Approximately 3 million hard-working Texans make their living in the retail industry. Some are young people new to the workforce. Some are seasoned retail professionals, and still others are temporary workers providing seasonal help. All have the right to a safe, healthful workplace.
Hazard: Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is a pervasive problem across industries. Retail employees are especially vulnerable because they exchange money with the public, work during off hours, and often work alone or in small groups.
Control: Promote Awareness
Workplace violence prevention starts with awareness. Take note of customers who linger without buying, leave and come back or go to a part of the store where it is difficult to see them. If someone looks suspicious, make friendly eye contact with them. Experts say robbers are less likely to harm someone they’ve established a personal connection with. Most importantly, don’t be a hero, and don’t chase the robber. Your life is more important than any merchandise or money.
Hazard: Large Crowds
In 2008, an overly zealous crowd of holiday shoppers trampled a retail worker to death. The incident underscored the importance of developing a plan to manage large crowds during the holidays and other sales events.
Control: Develop a Crowd Control Plan
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidelines to help employers manage large crowds during sales events. OSHA’s recommendations include posting security guards or police officers on site, setting up barricades that prevent customers from lining up at the store’s entrance, developing emergency procedures and communicating those procedures to employees.
Your business depends on having the items customers
Control: Use Safe Lifting Techniques
Safe lifting techniques include lifting with your legs instead of your back and pivoting with your feet instead of twisting with your body when you need to turn. If a load is too heavy, break it into smaller loads, ask a co-worker to help or use dollies, carts and other lift aids. If you use a
Hazard: Slips, Trips, Falls
Control: Practice Good Housekeeping
A clean, orderly workplace promotes productivity and reduces the risk of slips, trips
Control: Use Ladders Correctly
Ladders are everyday tools that can cause serious injuries when not used properly. Employees should learn how to select the right ladder for the job, inspect the ladder, set it up properly and maintain three-point contact.