Workplace Safety and Risk Management Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

6). DO-IT stores have been designed in the past to keep the safety of its employees and customers constantly in mind. The company understands that accidents can happen but that any steps taken to avoid an accident is money well invested. It knows that doing business in a country like the United Kingdom "puts direct cost of accidents in the billions of dollars" (Thye, par. 10) per year. With regards to the new site, it is safe to assume DO-IT stores will implement corporate protocol for safety and risk. Will this store be as safe as the others? Will there be adequate room for existing inventory and traffic within the store? Will employees be comfortable with their computer equipment requiring repetitious movement? What kind of action plan is put in place should there be an accident? Is safety gear provided for use during certain job requirement? What kind of communication does an employee have with management? Are their rights for a clean working environment being met? Will the store offer clean air, clean surfaces, clean water and a noise-reduced environment? Will they be able to move freely within the available space both inside and outside of the building? Will there be adequate parking, staff break rooms and toilet facilities? Are there processes in place to maintain the environment, equipment and morale of the employees?

From the retail standpoint of customer service and product presentation, will the customer see any inconsistencies or will this store reflect the image of the others regarding operations? The customer should be able to find the product they seek, pay for it and leave without worrying about parking, shelves being under-stocked or over-stocked, clutter in the aisles, lack of air circulation, room temperature control or surrounding noise. Their shopping experience should be pleasurable.

Safety and Risk Training for Staff

Safety and risk training for staff starts with communication. This communication sets forth a standard plan and outlines the responsibilities the employer has toward the employees. There are certain alienable rights provided to employees by national legislation. One is that the employer must communicate to the employee "the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work" (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, p. 4). The employer must also make appropriate arrangements for the employee should such safety and risk becomes an issue. He must also disclose any knowledge or suspected factors of risk to the employee (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, p. 6). This includes upon hiring of the employee, assessing their overall abilities and then after hiring, providing adequate training of not only the job but also safety procedures for the workplace (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, p. 9). This includes training the employee for handling "any machinery, dangerous substance, transport equipment" (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, p. 10) and offering "means of production or safety device provided to him by his employer in accordance both with any training in use of the equipment and the instructions respecting that use which been provided to him by the said employer in compliance with the requirements" (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, p. 10) by law. In a retail environment specializing in home improvement and building materials, an employee's training in safety can minimize accidents and if they should happen, minimize the repercussions. The employee's awareness of such risk can aid in the operation's smoothness and translate into profits.

Consultant Recommendations and Instructions for Planning Supervisor

Site and Location

The recommendations for the site start with the testing of the water table and soil for contaminants and other potentially harmful elements. A building design utilizing the space provided is needed to help eliminate issues of employee and customer movement inside and outside the store, parking availability, inventory tracking and storage, noise pollution. Hiring an architect that specializes in retail design is recommended as well as taking steps to make the shell of the building safer for everyone. This may require installation of air and water purification systems, climate control systems, insulation and barrier to reduce outside noise. Providing parking and durable walkways will also be essential to encourage traffic to the store. Durable flooring that is non-skid should be installed instead of the concrete floors found in DO-It's other stores. Another idea to aid in making the store's affect on the environment better is using a detection system in trashcans inside and outside. This makes disposal easier for the employee. Also keep cameras on every aisle to detect clutter or inventory falling from the shelves.

Store Requirements (Layout and Environmental elements) clear visional map of the store is warranted. For a store this size, no matter how closely organization and labeling of product gets, there will still be customers who need additional assistance. Also a training map would be good for new employees learning the floor. Still it is the upkeep of the aisles that is essential to manage safety. Management may consider hiring additional people to monitor quality assurance. Organization makes it easier for the customer to find what they are looking for and leads to less risk. Making the aisles wider and the shelves shorter might require more space but could in the long run, diminish the chance of accident. It is inventory tracking that makes the store less cluttered and easier to move. Continued investment in updating computer programs and hardware is a must as well as continued staff training of the knowledge of these machines.

Store Equipment

Continued maintenance of equipment is a must to not only extend the life of the equipment and the company's investment but to also make them safer to use. Continued investment of technology as it becomes available also makes the job easier and more comfortable. It may also save money for the company over the long-term as "injuries such as back strain, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome incur more than $411 million (dollars) in medical treatment, lost wages additional suffering and lost productivity for employers and workers" (Precor, par. 7). Therefore it is recommended that DO-It regularly invest in ergonomic computer accessories and where needed also ergonomic desk modules. Also training in simple ergonomic lifting techniques will eliminate lifting hazards. This type of training is recommended for implementation in New Hire training so that bad habits never form.

Store Inventory (Products Available for Sale)

It recommended that DO-IT continue to receive inventory from the same suppliers. In this day and age, it is temping to possibly cut corners and costs by changing suppliers of lower and questionable quality. This does not help control the work environment and the potential of exposure to harmful elements. Staying consistent also reflects to the customer, the stores value of quality. Maintaining procedures of maintenance of the shelves and inventory restock is warranted. Management may consider hiring new members for quality assurance. The company should continue researching and developing better shelving compartments with enclosures to protect customers and employees but also allow for viewing and sampling the product. This could be a recommendation for the future. The inventory tracking system aids in making sure that not only is the product available but it is not cluttered. This tracking system will need to be constantly checked and upgraded. Another recommendation for this area is to consider separating special services such as paint mixing and lumber slicing to a separate area for processing. This separation will allow the worker's to operate machinery in a well-ventilated area and help contain airborne substances such as paint fumes and sawdust. This eliminates other employees' exposure and keeps the customer from being exposed as well.

Safety of Staff Members and Clientele

One recommendation to promote staff safety is to provide better protection from their surroundings. Provide state of the art goggles and gloves that can withstand longer use. Provide the computer users with ergonomic accessories and chairs. Have a separate staff entrance located close to staff parking that is well lit. For late hour employees especially female, provide a security escort to their cars or public transportation. This protects them from possible crime events happening. Of course, installation of a surveillance system would also be a good recommendation. Management should consider hiring a security firm to handle this type of need. Provide a clean, fun recreational room for employees to rest or lunch during breaks. By allowing them time to relax, helps them maintain their health and well-being.

Safety and Risk Training for Staff

It is fundamental the employee be capable of doing their job. In an environment such as DO-IT Ltd. It is important management have experience in hiring experienced people for niche type positions like…

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