Retail workers when they are working alone are classified under the work alone definition set by the Canadian government. Unlike typical retail workers, they face a unique and increased set of safety hazards that typical retail workers do not experience, including accidents without immediate aid, and being subjected to threats or even violence. The Canadian government regulates working alone positions, and several provinces stipulate that employers must conduct check-ins at pre-specified intervals for these employees. Even still, there are certain precautions these workers can take that can ensure their safety.
Here are 5 safety tips for retail employees that can help mitigate the risks they face when working alone and may even save their life:
- 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 letting customers know very little cash is kept on the premises, and schedule bank runs during daylight hours when more than one person is working.
- Avoid emptying the garbage when only one employee is on staff or if they are working at night, especially when 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 entrances.
- Post emergency phone numbers in a convenient location and add a one-touch emergency button as part of the building security system.
Following these safety precautions will reduce the number of safety hazards as well as the opportunities for criminal behavior, improving the safety of employees working alone in retail settings.
Check out these articles for more information on work alone safety: