Retail workers face serious risks on each shift, so it is imperative that businesses do what they can to reduce those risks. There are some issues that are so common or problematic that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued standards to ensure that these workers are as safe as possible.
Trip hazards are a huge issue in some grocery stores and other retail spaces. This includes things like extension cords being placed across the floor without proper securement. Cracks in the floor and debris strewn about can also lead to problems. Employers must ensure that the areas not used by customers are just as safe as those that are.
Improperly stored merchandise and supplies is another serious issue that must be minimized. Things that are unstable can fall. Items that are on upper shelves should only be placed there if the shelving system is balanced and able to handle the weight. Items that fall on top of workers can cause serious issues.
Making sure that employees have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is also critical. Some examples of this include having gloves on hand so workers with open wounds, even paper cuts, can try to reduce the chance that germs will be introduced into the wound and can cut down on the risk that they’ll transmit germs to customers.
When workers are injured or suffer a work-related illness, they may need considerable medical care. Some might require time off work. Workers’ compensation coverage helps pay for the treatment costs and may provide partial income replacement for workers who can’t return right away.