Running a retail store means you get many people frequenting your location day in and day out. Well, hopefully, after all, that’s the aim; however, with people on your premises comes the huge responsibility of health and safety at your business and meeting OSHA regulations to ensure that you, your employees, and your customers are safe at all times.
While some tips are common sense, the last thing you want is to be the cause of pain and suffering due to neglect on your part or become embroiled in a litigious court case because you didn’t make your workplace safe for everyone who shops or works there; studies have shown that claims for employee injuries were 25% higher in January than any other month.
To protect yourself, your business, and everyone who enters your stores, follow these tips to help you become OSHA-compliant.
Identify Risks and Manage Them
You need to be aware of everything that is a risk to a person in your store. This can be accessing high shelving, carrying heavy items, things that can cause trips and falls, or cause damage to people.
Then, you need to look at eliminating or reducing the risks so there is less chance something will happen. This can be using wet floor signs to alert people of spillages or cleaning in progress, having staff use PP when using chemicals for cleaning or using knives to cut food, or getting a commercial concrete contractor in to fix damage outside your store or in your parking lot so people don’t trip or damage their vehicles.
You cannot expect everyone to know what constitutes health and safety or breaches OSHA guidelines. You need to ensure that everyone working in the store knows their responsibilities and legal requirements to ensure everyone’s safety.
By introducing training, keeping up to date with new regulations, updating training, and offering support, you can minimize the risks by being confident all of your employees know what they must do at all times.
Safety Equipment and Tools
Once you have identified the risks involved in working or shopping in your store and trained your employees, you can implement safety equipment for them to use. It can be providing steps or ladders when working at height and safety equipment to avoid damage, e.g., a hard hat; it can be wearing high vis clothing if they need to be going into a busy warehouse where deliveries are taken in, wearing gloves when handling food, wash facilities for personal cleaning and cleaning the store and so on.
If your employees don’t have the right tools and equipment to keep themselves and others safe, this will lead to a deterioration of standards and leave everyone at an increased risk.
It’s not good to be running through the above points and expecting everything to operate smoothly as per your requests at all times. You need to monitor operations, customer interactions, and their journey around the store, identify issues, take on board complaints or feedback, and know precisely what is going on at all times. By monitoring your health and safety status, you can pin point anything that is letting your standards slip, things that need improvement, or employees who need additional support carrying out their work safely.
All of these points need to work seamlessly together for enhanced OSHA compliance and to ensure that all patrons of the store and your employees are as safe as possible at all times.