Hazards in retail establishments

Retail stores are rarely seen as potentially hazardous places by the general public, but the fact is that injuries in the retail sector of the workforce account for their fair portion of workplace injuries, behind construction, transportation, warehousing, and forestry. This makes understanding the risks involved in the retail workplace important for both employers, workers, and customers.

The Risks while working in stores

Assault & Violent Acts

Unlike many other industries, violent acts by others including assault make up a significant percentage of injuries happening in the retail sector. Retail injuries by violence are due to the fact that some retail establishments are also targeted for robbery and theft. One personal injury attorney in Dallas says that there has been an increase in personal injury cases due to retail establishment violence against employees and customers.

Minor Injuries

Nonfatal injuries in the retail sector are about as prevalent as they are in other comparably large cross-sections of the workforce including manufacturing, warehousing, and construction. Many retail store injuries include cuts and falls during merchandise display setups or moving merchandise. They may not look as hazardous as operating heavy equipment, but under the right circumstances, they can still pose substantial risks.

Risk management

Inspecting a retail establishment for potential hazards can be substantial and overwhelming. On many occasions, retail store owners will attempt to find and eliminate hazards themselves, thinking that they have satisfied the safety threat. However, without a trained eye about safety issues, potential hazards can be overlooked. It’s recommended that retail store owners hire a professional safety inspector who is trained to find potential risks.

workplace safety programs

While retail storefronts are generally not thought of as hazardous, employees and customers are exposed to the same risks each and every day. To avoid potential injuries to everyone who enters a retail establishment, managers and store owners should educate themselves about these risks. Safety programs and classes are provided in every state by local governments and insurance companies, and are highly recommended.