In many parts of the world, the time is here, and a full retail reopening is upon us. But even as business returns to (almost) usual, health and safety concerns are likely to remain a priority to shoppers, and rightfully so. Read on to discover a complete list of health and safety considerations that retailers should keep in mind as they fully reopen the doors at their brick-and-mortar locations.
Health and Safety Checklist for Retail Stores: 6 Key Considerations
1. Antimicrobial Covers
A lot of seemingly minor behaviors that people used to commonly do have become uncomfortable during the COVID-19 pandemic – and they will continue to be behaviors that people avoid. Examples of this include touching dirty door handles, bathroom surfaces, payment terminal pin pads, and more.
As a retailer, you can put your customers at ease and help them avoid uncomfortable and potentially unsanitary situations by installing antimicrobial covers*. These covers reduce the transfer of germs, are easy to apply, and are available in precut shapes as well as custom application rolls. Certain antimicrobial covers last up to six months and are designed to complement a standard cleaning schedule.
2. Employee Handwashing
Handwashing protocols are nothing new, but it’s important to revisit and reiterate the importance of handwashing as your retail store reopens.
Some handwashing tips and considerations include:
- Are your employees are aware of handwashing standards and CDC best practices, like washing for at least 20 seconds before and after eating, after using the toilet, after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing, and after handling garbage?
- Have you posted your handwashing policy by all sinks?
- Are your sinks and restrooms supplied with soap, hand sanitizer, and clean towels?
- Are employees aware they should avoid touching their face?
3. Store Sanitization
Just like handwashing, sanitizing your store is something that has always been important but has become even more critical in the past year. Store sanitization considerations include:
- Do you have gloves, masks, and other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand?
- Are your employees trained on how to properly use sanitizing chemicals and equipment?
- Are your store’s most recent cleaning protocols prominently posted in employee areas?
- Are all public areas frequently cleaned (door handles, checkout counters, restrooms, dressing rooms, payment pin pads, self-service kiosk screens, etc.?)
- Have you installed plexiglass sneeze guards at the point of sale (POS)?
- Are all employee areas frequently cleaned (POS terminals, cash drawers, scanners, break rooms, inventory rooms, etc.?)
- Is all shared employee equipment regularly cleaned (keys, tablets, headsets, etc.?)
- Are sanitization practices and restocking of cleaning supplies assigned to specific employees and regularly scheduled?
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4. Store Interior
In addition to sanitization, there are other important considerations inside your store to prioritize, like:
- Is there ample lighting?
- Are all emergency exits clearly marked?
- Is the store free of tripping and slipping hazards? Are safety mats used near entrances and exits during snowy or icy weather?
- Are all ladders in good condition?
- Do you have an abundance of child-friendly carts available?
- Have you installed wall guards and corner guards?
5. Store Exterior
The outside of your store is as important as the inside when it comes to safety. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Is there ample lighting?
- Are all walkways clear of leaves, snow, and holes?
- Are all railings secure and in good condition?
- Are any obstructions well marked?
- Are any parking areas or traffic lanes marked?
- Are emergency areas (that don’t allow parking) labeled?
- Are all carts being collected on a regular basis?
6. First Aid and Fire Safety
It’s no question that first aid and fire safety are critical for any retail store. Below is a (partial) list of considerations to keep in mind:
- Is your store’s first aid kit fully stocked and free of any expired items?
- Does all staff know where the first aid kit is located and trained in basic first aid?
- Does staff know what to do if they are injured on the job? Does management know what they should do?
- Valves are locked in their open position
- Stock is kept at least 18” from sprinkler heads and heater units
- No smoking signs are visible
- Any smoking areas are clearly designated
- Fire extinguishers are mounted and accessible to employees, and are regularly inspected and tagged
- Employees are trained to use extinguishers
- Extinguisher records are adequately maintained
- Electrical panels are accessible and properly labeled
- All electrical wiring is installed in accordance with city codes
- Compressor room is free of combustibles
- Garbage cans are made of noncombustible material and have suitable covers
- Any flammable liquids are kept in approved containers
- Areas that experience heat buildup (heaters, appliances, etc.) are clear of combustibles
As you begin the journey of reopening your business’s doors and entering the “next normal,” we hope that this health and safety checklist for retail stores is helpful to you. Please note that this health and safety checklist for retail stores is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. Please consult your local authorities and resources with any specific health and safety questions or concerns that you may have.
Star Micronics proudly provides antimicrobial covers, the POSShield sneeze guard, and more.
Disclaimer: NeverGerms® makes no claims regarding the safety or health of the general public or those interacting with its products. “NeverGerms®” and “Touch Less Germs®” are registered trademarks and not intended to have literal interpretation. NeverGerms products are manufactured by NeverGerms and distributed by Star Micronics. Although these products are designed to reduce microbe populations on commonly-utilized surfaces and have been tested by the manufacturer for their antimicrobial properties, Star Micronics cannot guarantee that they will eliminate all risk of germ, including virus, transfer from such surfaces. Star Micronics, as distributor, relies entirely upon claims made by manufacturer as supported by prior research. For further information, please visit www.nevergerms.com.