Any retail business owner knows how important it is to ensure the safety of both workers and customers. From the employee perspective, this includes establishing and following safety policies and guidelines established by federal, state, and local regulatory agencies to minimize the risk of workplace accidents and injuries. But you also know you’ve got more to worry about than the occasional accident. This includes adequate protection against the threat of crime and potential gun violence during an armed robbery attempt. Below we outline a variety of both customer and worker safety tips retail stores should consider.
Crime is a Major Concern for Retail Stores
Whether it’s shoplifting or armed robbery, there are many tactics a retail store can employ to prevent crime while keeping workers and customers protected. The use of cameras is a common method that acts as both a deterrent to would-be criminals as well as a critical source of evidence if a theft does occur and it is caught on camera for law enforcement to review.
If someone attempts an armed robbery of your store, are workers protected with bullet-resistant glass windows, secure pass-thrus, or bulletproof deal trays? Creative Industries has all these products and more. Whatever the setting of your retail store, we have an attractive solution that provides protection without taking away from your desired aesthetic appearance. Everything we make is created to ensure greater safety while still facilitating smooth transactions with customers.
Severe Weather and Natural Disasters
Have you noticed how the incidence of severe weather events are on the rise? Global warming and climate change are often blamed for this. Whatever the causes may be, your retail business has to adapt to these changing conditions to protect your business, your employees, and your customers. Earthquakes, floods, and wildfires are a threat in some areas. In other locations, you may be more worried about severe storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. A growing number of retail businesses have come to realize that bullet-resistant windows on their exterior storefront not only protect customers and workers from gunfire but can also help prevent damage from severe weather because of their added strength and impact resistance. When it comes to natural disasters, you also want to have clear emergency protocols in place to ensure each employee knows what to do and where to go in a disaster, along with how to direct customers to safety.
Workplace Hazards and Worker Safety Tips
Safety standards retail stores need to follow tend to be set primarily by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), a federal regulatory agency under the umbrella of the US Department of Labor. The primary aim of those regulations is to ensure workers have what they need to do their jobs safely (both equipment and training), and to describe best practices for reducing the risks of workplace accidents and injury.
But we would be remiss not to mention how much workplace safety has been impacted by the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 global pandemic. Businesses suddenly found themselves needing to pay attention to an agency they rarely thought about before: The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). There were all kinds of ways retail businesses could help minimize the spread of the virus once the lockdowns were over and they started opening back up. Protecting the health of workers and customers became a priority concern. Among the worker safety tips we found ourselves talking about a lot was assessing if temporary social distancing barriers should be permanent. In many cases, we found that making them permanent with bullet-proof glass would provide health protection from the spread of a virus while at the same time providing greater safety from the threat of gun violence. After all, it’s only a matter of time before we face another pandemic of some kind.
Fire Hazards in Retail Settings
Fire hazards may be abundant in your retail store. Factors such as an exposed wire from lighting or computers, open flames in a store display, improper chemical storage in a back room or combustible materials left near a heat source are major fire hazards that could harm both employees and customers. To ensure you’re prepared for any fires that may arise, always keep fire extinguishers in your store and make sure all employees are trained in how to use them. Schedule routine fire extinguisher inspections to verify they are in good working order.
Indoor Air Quality for Retail Operations
Retail stores often may be located inside other buildings such as malls, with no windows to open in case the store needs to be aired out. Without proper ventilation, the air in a retail store may begin to collect mold, fungus, bacteria, or specific vapors from products used. To keep air quality safe in your retail store, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union recommends installing a mechanical system that cycles in the fresh outdoor air and circulates it throughout your store, both in the main floor area and in any back rooms. If a mechanical air system is already in place, check to see that it is functioning properly and hire a professional to fix it in case it stops working. This was another thing we learned about because of the global pandemic. The CDC published guidelines around ventilation in buildings in order to slow and help prevent the transmission of the virus indoors.
Keep Your Retail Store Safe for Employees and Customers
Simple worker safety tips also include visually inspecting your store’s premises consistently to ensure no hazards or threats are apparent. Conduct thorough training of your employees on safety so they can be proactive in detecting incidents before they occur. This is even more important in retail store environments where theft and other crime is common. Train them to be aware of warning signs and always provide them with secure cash drawers and deal trays to ensure their safety.
No matter what type of establishment you own, it’s important to take preventative measures to protect your customers, employees, and merchandise. We invite you to learn more about the bullet-resistant products offered by Creative Industries, including customization to meet your unique needs and requirements – contact us today!