Running a retail business requires a careful balancing of staff, merchandise and store upkeep. Providing customers with a safe environment in which to shop helps encourage repeat business and limits the risk of injury-causing accidents that could lead to legal woes for your store. Every retail business operates in a different environment, but there are a few safety items every store should monitor.
Your floor should be free of debris and items that could pose a potential tripping hazard. Additionally, floors should be swept each night to ensure all loose dust and dirt are clean for the next morning. Employees need to conduct floor sweeps every hour or so, to make sure there are no slippery spills or loose items strewn throughout your aisles.
Every store needs to be prepared in case of an emergency. Your store should have fire extinguishers available and clearly marked, as well as an alternate exit for use in the event the main exit is blocked. The exact number of fire extinguishers may vary based on local fire codes. All retail businesses should invest in emergency lighting, which can come on if power to the building is lost. Your store will also need an accessible first aid kit for treating minor injuries.
You and your employees should make examining the store for hazards a daily task. If you have automatic doors, check to ensure they close at the right speed. Inspect countertops and shelving units for exposed edges or metal snags that can cut customers and ruin clothing. If your store has shopping carts, check the carts for missing wheels or children’s safety belts. Place a non-slip mat at the front of your store to decrease the odds of falls on rainy or snowy days.
Chemicals and Electric
Electrical outlets that are not in use need to be covered by baby-proof plugs. Additionally, your circuit breaker and any other electrical equipment need to be clearly marked and secured by a padlock. If your company uses cleaning chemicals, you must display Material Safety Data Sheets in a place that your employees can easily reach. Double-check all extension cords and power cables for nicks or tears, and tape cords to the ground where they cross walking paths.
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