Personnel Safety in Retail Stores 

The personal safety of employees should be of vital concern to business owners, including those who operate retail stores. Teaching employees awareness and implementing a few workplace rules can protect staff. When it comes to personal safety, employers must be aware of both crime statistics and safe work environment policies recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Both elements can impact how safe a retail employee feels at work.

Store Security
Simple additions to a store can deter crime. Stationing a security guard at the door, or leasing space in a setting where security is provided, can warn would-be robbers that crime won't be tolerated by management. Security cameras also lend additional safety to workers, who have the assurance of knowing any crimes will be captured on camera. Deposit money frequently to prevent large amounts of cash from piling up. Keep a cash lock box and secure employee's valuables in a locked office to create a more secure environment.

Employee Awareness
Employees don't always worry about personal safety, so it is up to business owners to train employees about personal safety both inside and outside the workplace. Training sessions and written policies should include information such as never giving out the personal information of other employees. Employees should be trained to remain alert to anyone in the store, but to cooperate with robbers to avoid injury. Teach them to never walk to their car alone, especially at night or when other people aren't around.

Preventing Injury
Create guidelines to keep employees safe from potential hazards while inside the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a list of guidelines for businesses to follow that will help prevent injury to workers. For example, workers should not have to stretch over their heads and bring down boxes. Always provide a safe way for the worker to reach shelves taller than he is. In addition, train employees to lift with their knees and not their backs, and to ask for help if something is too heavy to lift alone.

Make Friends with Local Law Enforcement
Encourage local police officers to stop by the retail establishment. If a would-be robber is casing the store and sees law enforcement inside and out, he is not as likely to rob the store. Offer discounts to police and firefighters, or hand out free coupons. Once a business owners gets to know law enforcement, it is appropriate to ask if officers will drive by occasionally or stop in to check on safety.

Post Signs
Signs can have an impact on how safe the store environment is. Businesses can post signs that not much cash is kept on hand, that there are no bills over $50, that surveillance cameras and silent alarms are used. As far as preventing injury, signs on how to lift heavy items and advising employees to be aware of their surroundings can be posted around the break room to remind workers of their safety training.

*Proper preparation keeps your retail employees from being caught off guard*