The retail sector is Ireland’s largest, employing more than 270,000 people. Hazards associated with a retail environment are often thought to be low risk, but accidents remain common and can inflict significant extra costs on a business.
The legal requirement for employers to manage health and safety applies across the retail sector, from large distribution centres to self-employed shopkeepers. As in any workplace the hazards faced by employees must be identified, assessed and controlled.
Retail businesses with up to 50 employees can achieve this by using BeSMART.ie, a free online tool which enables employers and managers to prepare risk assessments and a safety statement for their workplace. BeSMART.ie covers a wide range of retail settings and is a simple, cost-efficient way for smaller businesses to manage health and safety and comply with the law.
The Health and Safety Authority has also developed a number of publications to help employers within the retail sector comply with their legal responsibilities. These include the Simple Safety toolkit, which provides employers with clear checklists and advice sheets for some of the more common retail hazards.
Hazards associated with the retail sector include: