ArticleThe experts at Robson Forensic are frequently engaged to investigate matters related to the operations and management of retail stores. The focus of our investigations varies from case to case, but often involves an evaluation into the safety of merchandise displays, good housekeeping practices, food safety, or premises security.
Specific experts from our premises safety group bring firsthand experience designing walkways, product shelving, and building maintenance procedures in the retail industry .
Retail Operations Safety Checklist
The experts at Robson Forensic are frequently engaged to investigate injuries involving retail displays. The experience gained throughout our casework supports industry best-demonstrated-practices; there are certain safety measures that, when followed appropriately, can reduce the likelihood of injury.
Merchandise displays can become trip and fall hazards:
□ End caps should be fully stocked to prevent customers from tripping over empty displays
□ Aisles should be free of miscellaneous cartons that can create tripping hazards
□ Floor displays should be at least 3’ in height to reduce the tripping hazard
□ Hanging displays should be hung at a minimum height of 7’ to prevent customers from striking their heads
□ Heavy items (such as dishwashers) should be anchored to prevent them from tipping forward during customer interactions
□ Merchandise displays must not obstruct or be placed in front of an emergency exit or access aisle
□ Peg-hook displays should use a rounded edge peg-hook to prevent eye injuries
Merchandise displayed on high/overhead shelving can fall and cause injuries:
□ Items may need to be tied down or fenced off to prevent customer access
□ Shelving should be signed, advising customers to ask for assistance
□ Inventory should be stocked overnight or during non-business hours
□ If inventory must be stocked during business hours, it should be completed during off-peak hours and employees should curtain-off shelving areas to prevent injury
□ Ladders, rolling racks, and other handing equipment should be removed from the sales floor when not in use or directly attended by an employee
Retail fixtures (displays) should be inspected monthly by a trained manager to prevent injuries, items to check include:
□ Fixtures are properly assembled
□ Displays are safely anchored to prevent falling
□ Appropriate signage is in place, requesting customers to ask for assistance with heavy items and merchandise on high/overhead displays
□ Displays are free of sharp edges, including broken or chipped glass
Mechanized merchandise and items with sharp edges can cause injury:
□ Lawn mowers and other mechanized merchandise should be displayed without fuel
□ Cutlery should be displayed in the carton only so that knives and other pointed items cannot be pulled from open displays
□ Chainsaws should be displayed with covers only
Retail Safety Investigations
The Premises Safety Experts at Robson Forensic investigate cases involving the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of residential, institutional, and retail premises. We conduct site inspections, perform tests, and review applicable standards to learn facts and form opinions about how and why individuals were injured within the built environment.
For more information submit an inquiry or contact the author of this article.
Architect Catherine Peterman is an expert regarding building and premises safety. She has extensive experience in the safe design, renovation and maintenance of retail facilities and other building types. Catherine is an expert regarding building and premises safety, codes and standards, accessibility requirements, analysis of building construction defects and claims, and A/E professional performance.
There are several experts at Robson Forensic who are qualified to investigate retail operations issues as they relate to premises liability disputes. For assistance determining which expert is best qualified to investigate the specific technical aspects of your case, please contact your local Robson Forensic office or submit an inquiry through our website.