The retail sector in the UK is worth over £350 billion and employs more than 3 million people, making it the country’s largest private sector.
With so many people employed in retail, you may be surprised to learn that the Government has deemed the retail workplace ‘low risk’. This classification is primarily because of the lack of heavy machinery. Yet many of the most commonly reported incidents occur in retail settings in huge numbers.
Top Retail Risks
Given that these incidents occur regularly in retail, the HSE has compiled a more comprehensive list of the most common non-fatal incidents to occur within the workplace.
Slips, trips, and falls
Of all retail incidents reported in 2016/17, the majority were related to a slip, trip, or fall.
Forklift trucks are responsible for around 25% of all retail transport
32% of all days lost in 2016/17 were due to injuries from handling, carrying, or lifting. With regular deliveries into stores, manual handling is an inevitable part of retail! But training is key to avoid incidents.
If a customer experiences product or service dissatisfaction, retail staff are the first to know about it. This can lead to intimidating and threatening behaviour, or sometimes even physical violence.
The threat of violence against retail staff is high, with the equivalent of 13 violent attacks on retail workers occurring every single day in 2017, sufficient measures need to be taken to reduce this.
With such a high frequency of incidents occurring in retail settings, EHS software can be employed to help mitigate risks. Here are some of the top ways EHS software can help.
Cloud Technology Improving Communications
Whilst the number of retail sites varies from business to business, the problem remains the same – communication of information can be inconsistent and impractical.
Should incidents occur, Health and Safety Managers need to be aware as soon as possible, so they can take steps to make sure similar incidents don’t happen at other sites.
With cloud-based health and safety software, incidents or hazards can be reported into the system and be instantly viewed. From here, actions can be made and tracked to ensure that the issue is dealt with in the best possible way.
All sites can gain from the experience of one incident and learn from it.
Promote Safety Culture
Health and safety software should make reporting retail incidents much easier, creating a heightened safety culture amongst staff. However, this is only the case if it is an easy system to use. It is essential that any EHS system must be accessible on a range of devices to increase reporting.
Native mobile EHS apps are vital for retail businesses looking to improve their safety culture.
Consistency across the board…
Even though most of the hazards that occur in a retail setting are low risk, they can be frequent.
Retailers must, therefore, take all hazards seriously and should complete regular audits and risk assessments.
EHS software allows consistency across various locations. Whilst the likelihood of certain incidents may vary from store to store, the practices for managing and recording them should be as similar as possible. This can be ensured through EHS software for the likes of incident management, auditing, and risk assessments.
Modern EHS software allows managers to carry out end-to-end investigation processes effectively.
EHS software lets managers quickly carry this process out due to various features such as root cause analysis tools and evidence attachments enabled.
This gives investigators a much more in-depth understanding of what has occurred and how it could’ve been prevented.
Now’s the time...
The single structure of all health and safety reporting allows for a clearer overview of company performance.
With the ease of reporting comes higher levels of reporting, so the amount of valuable information fed back to managers will improve.
From here, retailers can gain a better understanding of where their strengths lie, but also where they could improve across the board to benefit health and safety within the workplace.
With fines for health and safety breaches on the rise, there has never been a better time for retailers to invest in EHS software -providing consistency, reliability, and compliance.