Introducing Ebony…. Ebony is 33 years of age and is a full-time assistant manager at Lowes menswear in Yeppoon. Over the many years of her working she has had many retail jobs consisting of, manager at rockmans and payless shoes. She works 30 hours a week and thoroughly enjoys this working roster as she is able to go home do the everyday choir activities and spend all the rest of her day with her family and friends. Ebony thrives to spend as much time as possible with her family, friends, and her work life. Achieving and performing ‘safe’ work habits in the workplace is necessary for her everyday working and job requirements in the retail industry. What Ebony most enjoys about her career is that every single day is different, as different kinds of customers have to be approached and served in other ways. She also finds that the day brings her challenges as the store is always receiving new stock; which therefore means she has to rearrange the shop majority of the time for new stock to be placed. She can never imagine what is going to happen throughout the day; there is always something innovative and exciting going on. She thrives on working to the best of her ability and loves to explore new challenges throughout her job. One day, her dream is to work as an area manager for if not Lowes but another retail company Ebony throughout her day has to continuously examine her activity at work to make sure she is meeting the Australian Retail Standards for Occupational Health and Safety.
|Scooped by Melissa Grieve|
5. Ebony Kent (Lowes Menswear Retail Worker - Assistant Manager).
It is has been stated by the Australian Government that working in the retail sector can be hazardous, especially when you are a full-time worker, just like Ebony is(European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005) . Below are mentioned the main Occupational Health and Safety Risks that are involved in the retail industry.
Violence and Verbal Abuse from Customers: Customers violence to workers is all-too-common in the retail industry. Attacks can occur from all kinds of situations, from when staff have to deal with troublemakers, thefts and robberies, angry customers and drugged or dunk customers. Violence from customers towards staff members can come from: threats, verbal abuse and harassment; therefore making staff members such as Ebony anxious and stressed (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005). This risk is defiantly not included in your job description and there should be no blame if you are involved in an incident of this kind. The only way Ebony /retail workers could prevent and reduce violence from occurring in the workplace includes the following: analysing the environmental design surrounding you, safety and security devices active and up to date levels, reporting, work practices and guidelines and training (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005) .
Lifting and/or Moving Heavy Loads: Lifting and carrying heavy loads in retail is a common cause of injury among shop workers, as it can be dangerous and is a common requirement of your daily work activities. For example for Ebony as she relays the shop everyday she is constantly lifting, moving and rearranging heavy loads. The aspects that can have a major impact on the dangers of this issue consist of: weight of the load, shape and size, stability and the movement and motion of the of the load. To prevent this issue from occurring and to reduce the risk of injury it is advisable that Ebony/retail workers don't lift or move heavy loads from, cramped storage areas, unstable railings, unsafe ladders and heavy loads on top shelves (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005).
Slips, Trips and Falls: Slips and trips in the retail trade are a very well-known cause of injury, both to the staff and the customers. The characteristics that have an effect on this risk are, wet or uneven floors, spillages and things being left or unattended on the floor are among the main cause of this issue. Although this risk can be prevented by completing the following: wear non-slipping footwear, keep objects off the floor and away from passageways, unsafe accidents or conditions to be reported and clear up straight away any spillages/breakages (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005).
Sprains and Strains (Musculoskeletal Disorders): Sprains and Strains is a very common and serious risk in retail, as it can be a trigger from many things, such as: lifting, working, reaching in awkward positions, working with equipment that is difficult to use, and repetitive and fast movements. All of these aspects can give us aches and pains which can lead to further severe injuries (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005). Also standing for several hours, as you do in retail, can cause serious backache and pains in the legs; which as well can cause injuries down the track. Even though these issues are used in retail's everyday activities their can still be some ways in which they can be prevented. These include: ask whether your work can be rotated, make sure your receiving your rest breaks, and if you notice you are working with awkward movements or getting aches and pains from work then it is important for you to report it immediately (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ,2005).
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. (2005), Advice for Young Workers, Hazards and Risks in the Retail Trade, Viewed 10th April 2014, http://www.osha.mddsz.gov.si/resources/files/pdf/E-fact_05_-_Hazards_and_Risks_in_the_Retail_Trade-_advice_for_young_workers.pdf