Keep Your Retail Employees Safe From Workplace Violence

Retail employment can have significant risk factors for workplace violence and those with retail experience can usually tell you story after story of “weird” events that transpired on the job.

In December of 2015, two deadly shootings at two different Edmonton’s Mac Convenience Stores and on the same night, prompted a new Alberta government investigation into the dangers involved in retail stand-alone convenience stores and gas station bars.

“Employers are responsible to take all precautions to ensure their workers are safe, treated fairly and go home to their families at the end of the day, no matter what industry they work in,”  Labor Minister Christina Gray

 

Hit Me Once – Hit Me Twice – Hit Me Ten Times

A study by the Trade Union Congress in the UK found that hospital, teaching and retail staff were most at risk for workplace violence.  According to their latest research, one in every eight UK workers has experienced workplace violence – and of those, one in five experienced workplace violence more than 10 times!  

What Makes Retail Employment So Risky?

  1. Employees often work alone – even late and/or overnight shifts.
  2. Employees often handle cash.
  3. Employees deal face to face with the customers.
  4. Location, location, location : If the retailer is located in a high-crime area – risks obviously increase
  5. Alcohol- if the retailer serves or sells alcohol on the premises
  6. Safety Measures Lacking
  7. The age of many employees working in retail environments reflects inexperience in recognizing and dealing with potentially dangerous situations.

How can the small retail store chains begin to provide safer environments for their employees and customers alike?

Check out this slideshow presentation (2-3 min) by WorkSafeBC – specifically for retail environments

Education and Training to Prevent Workplace Violence

Along with every precaution you can take in the physical environment, we strongly advocate for education and training.  Provide preventative training to employees to help them not only recognize potentially dangerous situations, but to equip them with the self- confidence and awareness to handle threatening situations.  Equip your supervisors and managers with the skills they need to manage difficult situations and recognize the potential for trouble before it manifests in the workplace.

Fiore Group Training offers in-house training and e-learning options to fit any size of business in workplace violence prevention.