Retail Worker Safety: Five Tips for Working Alone

Review these helpful safety tips for retail workers alone on the job—topics that could save their lives.

Retail workers, when they are working alone, are at a higher risk of violence and accidents without immediate aid. Retailers should be aware of the threats to lone retail workers and make sure they are doing everything they can to educate and safeguard their employees.

Working alone on the job poses some notable risks—especially at untraditional hours like early in the morning and late at night. Unlike typical retail workers, lone-working retail workers are at a higher risk of accidents without immediate aid and threats or violence.

OSHA mandates that employees working alone be checked on during regular intervals to ensure the employee’s safety and health. Even still, employers can enact the following precautions to best ensure their workers’ safety:

  • Make eye contact and greet every customer. This is more than good customer service—it allows staff to keep an eye on shoppers without being obvious.
  • Post signs that inform customers that very little cash is on the premises, and schedule bank runs during daylit hours when more than one employee is working.
  • Do not empty the garbage when only one employee is on staff or if they are working at night. This is especially true if bins are not in well-lit areas.
  • Limit the number of available entry or exit doors, especially at night. Close and lock back or side doors.
  • Post emergency phone numbers in a convenient location and add one-touch emergency button as part of the building security system.

In addition to these precautions above, employees can also take the following, cautionary measures to ensure their safety:

  • Do let people know about your whereabouts
  • Do follow safety training and guidelines always
  • Don’t attempt anything that cannot be done safely alone.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks
  • Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts

Other than the heightened potential of violence against lone workers, there are other hazards lone workers face while on the job without anyone nearby. Dangerous falls, health emergencies, and fires and explosions are among the other largest risks for workers alone on the job. For more information on these risks, and their prevalence, read this article.

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