9 Tips to Effectively Manage Risk in the Retail Sector

September 28, 2015

There are many things outside of your control when it comes to insurance, but risk management is NOT one of them. Ensuring that you address some of the key tips below will help you reduce the risk of incidents and consequential claims occurring in your store.

Make sure you are legally compliant. Do you have an up-to-date and site-specific safety statement?

Make sure that you effectively communicate risk to your staff. Are you confident that all of your staff are a) aware of the hazards & risks in their area of operation and, b) understand how to control these hazards & risks to minimise damage to both themselves and the public? Simply reading and signing a safety statement does NOT guarantee that your people effectively understand the hazards, risks and controls in their area of operation.

Provide practical H&S training to your staff. Ensure that relevant staff have completed practical H&S training (i.e. Manual Handling, Basic First-Aid, Fire Safety, Safety Management Training, etc.). Online training solutions alone are never enough and won’t stand up in court.

Investigate accidents the right way. Are ALL of your people trained on a robust system that gathers facts while ensuring the customer/staff member is also being cared for in the event of an incident? Ensure you record CCTV footage and a complete clear incident report form that focuses only on the facts.

Learn from near misses. Near misses are very valuable pieces of information that should lead your staff to put in place immediate corrective safety actions to ensure that an accident does not occur in the future. Are all of your people engaged in implementing safety correctives when the need is spotted?

Try to have an external audit at least annually. All retail sites should have an internal safety auditing structure, however, it is also recommended practice to have your site audited on its safety & risk management performance by an external expert on an annual basis; fresh eyes make a big difference.

Housekeeping is key. Everything has a place and everything should be in its place. Is your front-of-house as neat and tidy as your back-of-house? Do your people spot when things are not where they should be and then fix it immediately? There is a strong correlation between housekeeping standards and slip, trip & fall incidents/claims.

Tackle the big 3 liability claim issues in retail. The big 3 problems in retail are: slip, trip & fall (public & employee); wrongful arrest (public); and manual handling (employee). What steps have you taken to reduce the risk of these incidents/claims occurring on your site?

Remember, 80-95% of all workplace accidents are behaviour-based. In a nutshell, try to ensure your staff take ownership of their own safety and the safety of others. Risk awareness and safety ownership on a daily basis will reduce the likelihood of silly workplace behaviours that lead to accidents.

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