A Quick Retail Health & Safety Checklist

A Quick Retail Health & Safety Checklist


Compliance with all applicable regulations is a critical activity for every business operating in the retail sector. That applies just as much to distribution centres as it does to high street stores, both large and small. All too often, H&S compliance is viewed as just another boring administrative burden, which results in compliance breaches through disinterest or neglect.

The fact is that good H&S compliance is an excellent defensive measure and safeguard against accidents in the workplace and the upset, not to mention financial cost that they may entail.

Why This Checklist Is Important

No doubt there is a lower level of risk of serious injury than exists in, say, the construction industry. However, the facts are that industrial accidents happen in every type of workplace. Fires can break out in any building, for a myriad of causes, and people still need to know how to react for the safety, wellbeing and benefit of all. Referring to this checklist is not a substitute for reading up and learning the regulations but it will prompt you not to forget things.

A Quick Summary Of The Main Risk Areas For The Retail And Associated Sectors

These are the most common types of risk that are likely to arise in your business:

  • Fire
  • Manual handling
  • Display screen equipment
  • Equipment/machinery
  • Working at heights
  • Hazardous Substances

Checklist Of H&S Duties

Appoint somebody competent to manage H&S activities

  • Competent means someone who knows and understands the H&S regulations and has the authority to execute the required activities

Draft an H&S policy

  • If you have 5 or more employees then you must prepare a written policy
  • The policy should clearly state the activities for H&S and who will carry them out, when and where

Identify risks and take steps to control them

  • If you have 5 or more employees you must prepare a written risk assessment
  • You can use this free Shop Risk Assessment Tool on the HSE website to help you

Consult with your workforce

  • Don’t assume that you know all the risks and hazards. Ask your staff and get their buy-in to the H&S policy and the identified risks and mitigations.

Deliver training and make information available

  • What risks and hazards them may encounter and how to deal with them
  • Emergency procedures
  • Training for risk activities (e.g. safe lifting techniques)

Display the H&S law poster

  • Ensure it is always clearly visible and not obstructed by other notices

Keep the workplace safe and healthy, and provide basic facilities

This is a critical section and you need to read and study the requirements. Essentially:

  • Don’t leave stuff lying around that people could trip over
  • Ensure good ventilation
  • Provide adequate toilet and washing facilities, and storage for clothing

First aid

  • Make a properly stocked First Aid box available
  • Appoint somebody to be responsible for it
  • Publish First Aid details where employees can see it

Recording and reporting accidents

  • Keep an accident log book and ensure it is in a secure location so that employee details are kept confidential.
  • Record details of incidents as dictated by legislation


  • Take out employers’ liability insurance if you employ a workforce (recommended)

Remove The Stress Of Compliance

Larger organisations and those with multiple locations may appreciate the benefits of having all of this done for them by acknowledged experts in H&S matters. We understand the legislation, how to address risks adequately and how to correctly document everything. That makes it far more likely that you will achieve and maintain compliance. Contact us today for a no-obligation professional consultation.

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