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Retail Store Safety Inspection Checklist and Strategies

Safety and loss prevention is necessary to have sustainable and efficient work processes. Use digital checklists to identify areas of improvement in a retail store.

What Is a Retail Store Safety Inspection Checklist?

A retail store safety inspection checklist is an assurance that every aspect of the store has been inspected. It also assures that the workplace is safe for employees and customers alike. As each item on the list is ticked off, the inspector verifies that each task, area, and equipment is functioning properly.

Since retail stores have different components and elements, a retail store safety inspection checklist should be comprehensive. However, they should be simple, straightforward, and easy to use. Hence, digital checklists are the ideal alternative because they can be readily accessed anytime, anywhere.

Moreover, safety inspection checklists also foster accountability. For example, if an accident happens in the store, investigators will request evidence that the management has done safety measures to mitigate the risks and hazards in the workplace. The checklist serves as evidence of whether all the safety measures have been in place and the people responsible for each task have done their job.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. How to complete a retail store safety inspection

2. Retail loss prevention strategies

3. Easy-to-use inspection software for retail stores

Employee open retail store after safety inspection

How to Complete a Retail Store Safety Inspection?

One of the many responsibilities of a store owner or manager is to ensure that the store meets all the safety requirements set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

To ensure that you are complying with these safety requirements, here is a few useful information to help with your compliance:

1. General Conditions

The requirements under OSHA’s Standard 1910.22 are pretty straightforward. It states that the employer is responsible for ensuring that the walking-working surfaces are free from risks and hazards that might cause trips and falls.

Aside from maintaining the cleanliness and safety of your walking-working surfaces, other store functionalities must be in good working condition. These include self-checkouts, sliding doors, and more.

2. Complying With Safety Requirements

A safe workplace is equivalent to a reputable workplace. Thus, ensuring the safety of your store affects your reputation. To make sure that you have a safe workplace, you need to comply with the requirements under OSHA’s 1910.37 standard regarding the maintenance, safety, and operation of your exit routes.

Another safety standard is 1910.1200 or the Hazard Communication Standard, which requires retail stores to:

  • Properly label and tag all chemicals in the workplace
  • Keep a safety data sheet for all the dangerous chemicals present in the store
  • Have a written hazard communication program in place
  • Have safety training for employees on how to identify and handle these chemicals, and how to protect themselves when working on these harmful substances

Compliance with this does not only ensure the safety of your workers but also prevents you from incurring costly fines and penalties.

3. Complying With Health Requirements

OSHA’s General Duty Clause states that establishments are required to keep their workplace safe and free of hazards that may cause accidents and injuries. To comply with these requirements, you should have medical personnel and first aid supplies readily available on-site in case of emergencies.

4. Recording and Reporting Injuries

You should maintain and retain copies of all injury reports. Preventative safety measures should be well-documented and updated. More so, an emergency action plan should be readily accessible by all employees.

Stores with more than 10 employees are required to have a record of serious work-related accidents and illnesses. On the other hand, injuries that only need first aid do not have to be recorded.

5. Eliminating Fire Hazards

Fire is another safety hazard in the workplace. Standard 1910.39 states that a business should have a fire prevention plan that is easily accessible by employees. The plan should include the following:

  • Regular maintenance of fire safety equipment
  • Name and title of employee(s) in charge of fire control
  • Name and title of employee(s) in charge of fire safety equipment

Employee conducting retail store safety inspection

Retail Loss Prevention Strategies

Safety is not the only concern faced by store owners but also inventory shrinkage. According to the 2020 National Retail Security Survey, the retail industry loses $61.7 billion due to shrinkage. Some of the causes include employee theft, shoplifting, vendor fraud, administrative error, and more.

How can it be prevented? What is loss prevention in retail?

Here are some methods how to prevent loss in your store:

1. Evaluate Hiring and Training Practices

Loss prevention might not seem related to the hiring and training process. However, considering this when you’re hiring employees will greatly impact employee theft and shoplifting.

When you’re looking for employees, having workers who conduct themselves with integrity is a great asset to your store. These types of employees have the business’s best interest in mind and have the dedication to prevent inventory loss.

Taking these employees and giving them the proper tools and training helps them enforce the programs and processes you have to prevent inventory shrinkage.

2. Enforce Clear Policies

Having a clear code of conduct as part of your loss prevention program might not necessarily stop some employees from stealing, but it sets clear expectations of how your employees should behave.

A clear policy should stress how company property should be used as well as the disciplinary actions in place for disobeying these policies. More so, these rules and regulations should apply to all. If you expect entry-level employees not to steal, the same goes for supervisors and managers.

3. Put Strong Deterrents in Place

According to the 2020 Organized Retail Crime survey, retail businesses lose $700,000 for every $1 billion in sales. Thanks to lesser penalties and relaxed law enforcement guidelines.

Therefore, it’s up to businesses to have strategies in fighting these crimes. Creating an appearance of strong security is as vital as having it. Therefore, aside from installing traditional security systems like burglar alarms and CCTV, consider new and emerging technology that might strengthen your store security.

4. Get Buy-in

Getting your supervisors and managers invested in preventing inventory shrinkage might be easy, but how about those in the rank and file? How can you communicate the importance of loss prevention to them?

Here are some suggestions to get buy-in from your rank-and-file employees: Encourage and empower them to take responsibility for the success of the company. Have clear benchmarks in place and set up a reward system to help them succeed. Share the success with every team member in the organization.

Easy-To-Use Inspection Software for Retail Stores

A digital application like Lumiform makes paperwork and record-keeping a thing of the past. All retail store inspection reports are automatically stored online and can be accessed anytime. Through chat or push messages, responsible persons immediately receive notices of security breaches and can counteract them.

Retail companies must prove that the prescribed safety measures have been implemented and are functioning – for employees and customers. Maintaining effective and documented safety management is a challenge that switching from paper to digital can be overcome.

With Lumiform, it is easier to meet the legal requirements for documenting processes by using the mobile app via smartphone or tablet to perform all inspections and document processes. Lumiform’s digital tool offers the following benefits for conducting retail store safety inspections:

  • Monitor retail security by conducting regular inspections using the same digital checklist from Lumiform’s template library.
  • Capture data in real-time from now on and share upcoming, ongoing and past inspections with your team members instantly.
  • Take unlimited photos of safety defects and add annotations.
  • Allocate corrective actions to responsible employees while still in the app and track their completion via your dashboard.
  • Continuously increase security: With the flexible form builder, you can continuously optimize internal controls and processes. Since Lumiform guides the inspector through the inspection, no intensive training is required.
  • After each inspection, you automatically receive a report that you can immediately share with other employees.
  • Store your reports securely in the cloud so that, in the event of an accident, you can prove that you’ve taken safety measures to mitigate risks and hazards in the workplace and to customers.

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Large retail store over several levels
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