In the spirit of "do it yourself" home improvement, more people are flocking to home improvement warehouse superstores to complete their projects.
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has recognized that having customers in a warehouse store full of boxes, crates and lift trucks can result in severe accidents.
With the holiday season ahead, ASSE is recommending that those retail organizations who have yet to develop and implement a comprehensive safety and training program to educate employees in customer and employee safety do so soon and is also providing retail safety tips.
"ASSE believes that a retailer''s duty to act is based on its responsibility to provide a safe environment for both employees and customers," said ASSE President Samuel Gualardo. "It''s also important for the consumer to heed all warnings and be aware of their surroundings."
According to ASSE member and retail safety expert Terrence Grisim, CSP, ARM, the following are some of the programs retailers have put in place to minimize accidents:
- Have height policies for stock stacked on top of each other.
- Develop a procedure where store associates go through the store aisles several times a day to straighten up piles and correct any "leaners."
- Spotters should be used wherever forklifts are in use and any time there is a danger where stocking and retrieval activities are taking place and where something can fall on a customer.
- Only do work on stocked that is stacked when the store is closed or during hours of minimal customer traffic.
It takes a team effort to deal with retail safety effectively, according to ASSE.
It also requires the coordination of risk management and information systems; customer safety programs; employee safety programs; thorough and constant employee training; and ongoing safety evaluation and training for all associates, said ASSE.
by Virginia Sutcliffe