Risk Management Smarts: Retail Safety Skills Training

Risk Management Smarts: Retail Safety Skills Training

Retail safety skills training is not only necessary for the well-being of employees, but it’s also smart risk management. According to stats released in December 2023 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry nonfatal workplace injuries in 2022 were up 4.5% to 2.3 million cases. And fatal and nonfatal workplace injuries are on the rise.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) 2023 data reports the average cost of a work-related accident is $41,353. This cost includes only what’s covered by workers’ compensation (medical bills, lost wages). It does not cover pain and suffering or any non-financial loss that the injured worker may be entitled to recover outside of workers’ compensation.

Employee safety training should always be a top priority whether they are seasoned, new to the industry, or temporary workers. And despite the safe environment perception, employers should pay attention to the variety of potential hazards in retail work. It’s an organization’s duty to be responsible and provide workplace safety skills training. Not only will the training help to prevent serious harm to workers, but it will save the company money.

What Are Potential Retail Environment Safety Hazards?

There are several types of common hazards that retail workers may face. These safety concerns include slips, trips, and falls, ergonomic and material handling hazards, vehicle-related hazards, workplace conflict, violence, and criminal activity.

How Can You Keep Your Retail Space Safe?

The retail industry has the second-highest number of non-fatal workplace injuries. According to January 2023 statistics from the BLS, 352,800 injuries occurred in retail in 2022. To ensure a safe environment, workers should have proper training in the following areas:

Slips, trips, and falls: According to the BLS, the most common causes of non-fatal injuries resulting in days missed from work are slips, trips, and falls. And the average cost per work accident is $48,575.

Training is necessary so employees can understand the dangers of slips, trips, and falls. They also need to understand and know how to avoid specific types of workplace safety hazards. Before allowing workers to use ladders, forklifts, or order pickers, they should take safety training courses on fall prevention measures.

Ergonomics: It’s hard to believe workers can sustain an injury just from sitting at their desks. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and muscle strains are among the most common causes of absenteeism. Proper posture, correct hand/keyboard alignment, and appropriate chair height will prevent injury. According to the BLS, the average cost for carpal tunnel syndrome is $33,477.

Effective online video-based training, like HSI provides, shares helpful information and guidelines to make the workplace more ergonomic. Training should also include teaching Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines so workers know the safety procedures to follow when performing their jobs. It’s also important for workers to know basic definitions in the event of a workplace injury.

Check-out one of HSI’s numerous ergonomic training videos. This specific training shows how to mitigate the risk of tendinitis, muscle strains and carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Safe lifting techniques: According to the BLS, more than one million workers suffer back injuries yearly. These injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Back injuries and pain can be debilitating. Many employees can miss not only days but weeks of work. One-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing the industry billions of dollars on top of the employees’ pain and suffering.

Effective training teaches employees proper lifting techniques to prevent back injuries. HSI’s training also shows learners how to be aware of their posture, think about how they will move before they move, stay fit, and go to a doctor as soon as the faintest back pain starts.

Vehicle-related precautions: Operating company vehicles, such as forklifts and trucks, are huge responsibilities and should not be taken lightly. These vehicles are a tremendous workplace safety hazard. OSHA estimates about 35,000 serious forklift injuries occur each year, with 85 fatalities.

Workers should never operate a forklift, truck, or other work-related vehicle without extensive training. Proper training course content includes:

Workplace conflict: All humans can be emotional from time to time. Avoiding workplace conflict 100% of the time is unrealistic. Emotions can escalate when dealing with conflict or receiving negative feedback. According to Zippia, 57% of employees have witnessed conflict that results in personal insult or injury. United States employees lose the equivalent of 385 million working days per year to workplace conflict. And 60% of employees have never received basic conflict management training.

Effective training can help de-escalate heated situations, whether the trained employee is directly involved or just a bystander. Training teaches how conflicts progress and how to stay composed in tense situations. Proper training also teaches different strategies to use to de-escalate conflicts. When employees have the power to know how to de-escalate heated situations and disagree productively, the safer the workplace.

Workplace violence and criminal activity: The risk of robbery, assault, and other threatening behavior is on the rise. It's imperative to have security measures in place.

Training course content encompasses many safety topics:

HSI Can Help

Retail workers face a variety of potential hazards in their daily work. It’s the employers’ responsibility to provide a safe environment. HSI offers training courses in fall prevention, ergonomics, safe lifting, safe vehicle operation, workplace conflict, violence, and criminal activity. HSI recommends annual refresher training to ensure workers stay safe and healthy while on the job.

Here are some of the HSI workplace safety online courses:

Our HSI LMS is built mobile-first and learner-first. Employees can access it at any time and at their own pace. Take the first step and request a free trial to learn more. Start building a workplace culture of safety, trust, and continuous learning. Consistent online safety training can directly impact the company’s bottom line.

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