Wednesday, February 13, 2013

OSHA Cites Retail Store

Just because you are a retail store, do not think that safety doesn't affect you and that you are imune from OSHA citations.

You do not need to be a famous, national (or in this case international), Bricks and Clicks, fashion clothing retailer chain, with stores in major cities in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, like Forever 21. You could be a Mom and Pop prom dress store with a single location and still face OSHA citations.

Two things caught my eye about this story: First, it is about a (single location of a) retail clothing store, and second my wife has bought clothing from them so I am familiar with the brand.

True, you do not have as many concerns as a manufacturing facility or a construction site, but you still need a written safety program. From my experience with clients, here are the top (OSHA) safety issues for retailers to address:
  1. Workplace violence (think the store getting robbed).
  2. Means of egress (emergency exits).
  3. HazCom (MSDS sheets for any chemicals, cleaners, etc.).
  4. Warehousing (back safety from lifting, moving/stacking stock, shelving).
  5. Ladders (too many times I have seen clerks hanging signs).
  6. Bloodborne pathogens (what if a customer vomits or a syringe is found in the store).

OSHA cites Forever 21 over workplace safety

February 12, 2013
From: The Boston Herald Online 

Trendy fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 faces $55,000 in proposed fines for two alleged repeat violations of workplace safety standards at its Burlington Mall location.

Following a December inspection of the store, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the Los Angeles-based company for exposing workers to potentially being struck by boxes falling from piles of stock in its back room that weren’t safely secured.
The store’s emergency exit route also was narrowed by boxes of stock that could have prevented workers from swiftly and safely leaving the store during a fire or other emergency, according to OSHA.

“Improper storage of stock and inadequate exit routes can and do put workers at risk of serious and severe injury,” Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Particularly disturbing is that these same hazards were previously found at another Forever 21 store. An employer with multiple locations, such as Forever 21, must ensure that safe and healthful working conditions are maintained at all its workplaces.”

OSHA previously cited Forever 21 for similar violations at its Bridgewater, N.J., store in 2011.

Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Safety in retail store seems not a big issue for some but taking a closer look in this type of business will make us realize that there are risks involved for retail employees. One of those risks include hanging signage as you mentioned.Knowing that signage is an effective means to promote products, safety of the employee who hangs it should not be taken for granted as well.

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