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Australian Retailers' Plea for Work Safety

Posted by Robert O'Neill on Dec 17, 2013 2:56:08 AM
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retailers safety christmasInspectors at WorkSafe Victoria have made an ocular inspection among retail stores in Victoria. Shop owners of these stores were guided about work safety in time for the rush of holiday season.

The ocular visitations are geared towards housekeeping practices, stock management process and storage, ladder safety and training for new workers. The inspections will last the whole summer season.

“We understand it’s a very busy time for everyone in the industry, but we’re asking retailers to take particular care so that everyone can get home safely at the end of each day,” said WorkSafe Regional Director Melinda Collinson. She emphasised the importance of work safety on top of everything else during the holiday rush.

Also, Ms. Collinson raised the issue that employees should be able to address the issues by speaking up if they are doubtful in doing a particular job safely. She firmly stated, “This time of year, many businesses put on Christmas casuals for the summer months, so it’s particularly important that young or new employees receive appropriate training and supervision. They should also be encouraged to speak up if they are uncertain about how to do something safely.”

Researchers revealed that in the Australian footwear and clothing, manually handling crates, cartons, boxes and other items comprised 53% of injuries related to manual handling. Fall injuries, trips and slips were the injuries usually caused by ladders.

Being proactive is the key message of all these said Ms. Collinson. Each employee has an important role to take a proactive stance in reporting and resolving work safety issues.

She concluded, “The good news is that these types of injuries are preventable and the solutions to the hazards are often simple fixes. “One of the easiest ways to prevent slips, trips and falls is to make sure in-store and back-of-store areas are free from clutter and excess stock."

“Another simple solution to avoid manual handling injuries is to use an elevated work surface, such as a trolley or table, instead of lifting stock from the floor."

“It’s also essential that workers have the right equipment to access stock or displays at height. Platform-style ladders are often a better choice than A-frame ladders, which can be less stable and pose a greater fall risk.”

Topics: Blog, Occupational Health and Wellbeing