As a shop owner, it’s your responsibility to make your store a welcoming and safe place for your customers. Aesthetics and design are perhaps the most important factors when it comes to initially drawing them in, but there’s a lot more involved when it comes to making sure that your customers choose to stay.
There are several things that any owner must do to make their shop more appealing, accessible, and welcoming. It’s also worth knowing how to reduce the likelihood of some of the most common types of accidents in that environment too. We’ve outlined the essentials below.
How to make your shop safe and legal
Carry out a risk assessment
Firstly, and perhaps even before you open to the public, you should carry out a detailed risk assessment to identify any hazards or problem areas. Once you’ve taken note of anything that previously slipped the net, you can put preventative and corrective measures in place.
No retail unit is completely free of hazards, but it’s up to you to keep them to a minimum. Managing the risks at any workplace starts with identifying them. Once you know your hazards, you can record your findings and review the necessary actions with your team. Risk assessments are a crucial part of compliance with workplace health and safety regulations.
Use a clear layout
Next, arranging your shop in a logical and clear way is one of the best ways to keep your customers safe and happy. Try to make aisles wide, clear, and bright in a larger shop, and keep display items tidy and tucked away in smaller shop floor areas.
The use of signage could be invaluable too. If there’s a spillage or a surface in your shop that you know might be slippery, even temporarily, it’s important to put up a sign pointing the hazard out to your customers. If you fail to display this essential warning, your clients could work alongside specialist personal injury solicitors to pursue a successful compensation claim.
Think about the flooring
Serious injuries in the retail sector are most likely to be caused by slips and trips. Most accidents of this type happen when smooth floors are cleaned and left wet; when spillages are not cleaned up quickly; and when the floor is unknowingly contaminated.
Choosing the right type of flooring for your shop could make an important difference. You should also know the cleaning requirements, including the correct amount of cleaning product to use. Slips and trips made up for 32% of non-fatal injuries to employees in all UK sectors from 2022 to 2023, so it’s important to take flooring seriously.
Use lighting effectively
Even if you have an eye for detail, you need to choose the lighting that illuminates your shop both effectively and safely. While that’s still possible by choosing ornate and designer lighting options, practicality should be your first concern.
Try to strike a balance between a warm, welcoming atmosphere and one that keeps your customers focused on your products. You should never neglect to include fire exit lighting and emergency illumination in the event of power loss.
Keeping your shop safe for customers might sound like hard work, but it’s absolutely imperative to reduce the chances of claims being made against your business. When there’s nothing on your shop floor that could pose a risk to members of the public, everyone will have a smoother experience.