What are accident trends looking like for retail stores ?


While shopping in a retail shop the consumers become victims of various merchandising hazards. During Loss Prevention Training, due importance is given to “how to ensure safe shopping”. In retail shops incidents of physical injury to shoppers and employees are very common while handling products that are either heavy or of irregular shapes. There are also incidents of falling from the ladder when products that are kept at the top layers of the shelves are taken out or kept back. Many children and elderly people slip and fall on the floor while walking through a wet area inside the retail shopping center. Other types of accidents that occur in retail stores include those because of hazardous chemicals or because of the violent attitude or misbehavior of people or because of bullying. Too much of physical strain in the retail shop can also affect people either by causing pain or by causing discomfort. Stress experienced by the people who work in retail stores badly affect their health and soon they become unable to work. Sharp tools like box cutters, knives and other types of blades are widely used in retail shops and due to lack of expertise and also due to lack of protection or failure to take precautions many people suffer injuries. Failure to follow Loss Prevention procedures and adopting shortcut methods by employees to save time are the main reasons for such injuries. Injuries of serious nature occur in retail stores while performing various mechanical tasks such as punching, bending, pulling and cutting. Muscle strains, bone fractures and very serious injuries occur as a result of crush accidents. Loss Prevention Training is very important to avoid this kind of accidents in retail stores.

Fire accidents

Fire accidents are very common in retail stores. When chemicals are kept without taking proper precautions and flouting Loss Prevention guidelines, they catch fire causing serious burns to people and heavy loss of valuable things. Employees as well as shoppers become victims of fire accidents in the retail stores. Loss Prevention Academy should ensure that fire extinguishers are kept in ready-to-use condition in all retail shops and that all the employees in the retail shops undergo Loss Prevention Training and learn how to use the fire extinguishers.

Lack of proper ventilation

Though the Loss Prevention Academy insist on maintaining good air quality in the retail shops, the shops that are functioning inside the malls or other big buildings are without proper ventilation and the poor quality of air inside these shops is a major health hazard to the employees as well as customers. It is very essential to install technologically advanced devices that can provide fresh air inside the stores and circulate the air throughout the retail shop. The mechanical air circulation system which is already installed may not be properly maintained and may not be in usable condition also. Such devices must be kept in good condition and the service of adequately trained professionals must be hired for the proper maintenance as well as repair of the air circulation system.

Lack of periodic inspection

When prompt and periodic inspection of the premises by Loss Prevention authorities is not carried out various hazards go unnoticed and as a result accidents occur. During their inspection, the officials should insist the shop owners to mop up spills immediately, keep the retail store free of clutter and keep the wires of computers and lights in proper enclosures. They should also insist for storage of chemical products strictly as per safety norms.

Lack of precautions against natural calamities The region where the retail store is located may be prone to natural disasters such as flood, tremor, cyclone, tornadoes and the like. Loss Prevention Academy should prescribe the safety precautions that are to be taken by the stores so as to prevent injuries, loss of life and loss of property as a result of natural disasters. Safety kits containing water and non-perishable food items may not be available inside the store at a time when the employees and customers are trapped inside the retail store due to the severity of a natural disaster. Proper safety kits must be made readily available in the retail stores to avoid this kind of a situation.

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Steven M. Degener, J.D. Clayton, CA, United States Steve has spent over 25 years in Retail Loss Prevention. His last position held was VP of Loss Prevention for a Fortune 500 company. Other positions include Deputy Sheriff and Director of Loss Prevention Services for various Retailers. Our sites include www.LossPreventionAcademy.com,LPPosters.com and LPjobsFREE.com. Follow us with Twitter at LPACADEMYcom and Facebook at the Loss Prevention Academy.