How to Reduce Worker and Employer Risks in Retail
The term "lone worker" typically refers to an employee venturing off-site to fulfil certain work obligations, such as an electrician or a social worker. Few people realise this term also applies to retail workers, as often they may work alone for periods
The term "lone worker" typically refers to an employee venturing off-site to fulfil certain work obligations, such as an electrician or a social worker. Few people realise this term also applies to retail workers, as often they may work alone for periods.
Moreover, retail workers run the high probability of being exposed to social risks. Social risks are any risk to a worker resulting from interaction with others as part of their job role – on site, during travel, visiting a private residence, or in the public. The potential result of a social risk may be verbal abuse, aggression or assault.
It’s imperative that employers within all sectors, including retail, provide their staff with the necessary tools and skills to ensure they can carry out their duties in a safe working environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, figures reported by the BRC show that violence and abuse towards retail staff has risen a staggering 40% in the last year. Failing to keep staff safe not only puts workers at the risk of a serious injury, but may also result in potentially devastating financial penalties for the employer. Last year research showed that acts of crime alone cost the retail sector over £660m.
Consequently, this population can be prone to violent, physical or verbal outbursts from the public, including customers. It is the employer’s legal obligation to ensure their workers’ safety and create plans to neutralise risks. This applies to all organisations, whether you’re a large retailer with hundreds of employees or a small boutique that only employs a handful of individuals.
Organisations that fail to protect their lone workers may be liable and can face an array of legal issues, in turn damaging their reputation and ensuing millions of dollars in cost. By implementing a proper lone worker safety program, you protect your company from liability and ensure a safe working environment.
Examples of Lone Workers in the Retail Sector:
- In-store retail staff
- Warehouse staff
- Delivery drivers
- Distribution operators
A perfect example of a hazardous lone worker situation occurred earlier this year. A female employee of a local charity shop was stalked and harassed by a man completing community service nearby. Due to having no safety resources available, the employee felt scared and stressed throughout the entire experience, ultimately taking a toll on her wellbeing.
SoloProtect Safety Solutions:
SoloProtect was one of the first companies to identify the security concerns of lone workers. Our technology looks like an ordinary identification badge, but is equipped with an array of innovative safety measures:
- GNSS monitoring, which is more advanced and precise than GPS technology and ensures proper identification of the employee’s locale
- 24/7 emergency monitoring via the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)
- 2-way voice communication between lone workers and the ARC
- 1-way voice recording of lone workers in hazardous situations (for legal purposes)
- Incapacitation Alarm, which sends a signal automatically to the ARC if a lone worker is detected at a horizontal angle
In many situations, it can be difficult and time-consuming to reach for a mobile phone and dial 999. All SoloProtect devices are designed to be discreet and rapid, meaning the dispatch centre can quickly contact the authorities and send them to your location.
Take Action Today:
Organisations in the retail sector will benefit in having a proactive approach to safety and investing in new ways to protect their employees. If you value the safety of your lone workers, think about implementing our innovative safety solution. With SoloProtect, no one is left to face risk on their own.
SoloProtect is the ultimate safeguard in risk reduction, providing businesses with lone worker safety solutions, dynamic risk assessment, and effective training for workers and managers.