Posted on: September 28, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Shopping centre health and safety is about managing public exposure to risks, by reasonable precautions. Here is s retail safety checklist.

Health and safety legislation applies to shopping centres, as it applies to all businesses, including self-employed people and workers.

Shopping centre health and safety risks, based on experience, include slips, trips, sharps, biological contamination, fire, electricity, traffic, mobile equipment, ladders, loose fittings or shelves, insecure high shelf packing, and crime.

Slips hazards include;
[ ] wet surfaces
[ ] oily surfaces
[ ] occasional spills
[ ] loose rugs or mats that not anchored
[ ] flooring or walking surfaces with varying traction.

Trip hazards include;
[ ] obstructed views
[ ] poor lighting
[ ] clutter
[ ] wrinkled carpets
[ ] uncovered cables
[ ] bottom drawers open
[ ] uneven walking surfaces
[ ] short steps
[ ] unmarked ledges or low steps.

Housekeeping measures at shopping centres help to prevent slips and trips;
[ ] clean all spills immediately
[ ] mark spills and wet areas
[ ] mop or sweep debris from floors
[ ] remove obstacles from walkways
[ ] keep aisles free of clutter
[ ] secure floor covering by tacking or taping
[ ] close file cabinets and storage drawers
[ ] cover cables across walkways
[ ] light up working areas and walkways
[ ] replace used light bulbs and faulty switches.

Food hazard management

Shopping centres and shops employers must provide areas suitable for workres’ food storage and eating. Restaurant owners must keep consumables in a clean place. Food storage must be restricted to prescribed areas. Inspectors from Department of Health, local authorities, or SABS bureaus may confiscate and test suspect food items, and prosecution may follow.

Retail workers training elements

Workers in a restaurant must be informed and trained about where and how to;
[ ] respond to emergencies
[ ] report injuries
[ ] get first aid
[ ] report hazards
[ ] refuse unsafe work or procedures
[ ] use and clean equipment.

Workers must be trained how to safely perform specific tasks:
[ ] manual lifting
[ ] finding and reading labels on chemicals and hazardous materials
[ ] material safety data sheets (MSDS)
[ ] expiry dates
[ ] spills cleaning.

Workers must be trained on which personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for various duties, like overalls, aprons, gloves types, eye protection, face protection, safety shoes, head protection.

Lifts and escalator safety

Lifts and escalators must be inspected and tested frequently. Employers must keep a maintenance, inspection, modification and repair record for each automotive lift.

Operation, inspection, repair, maintenance and modification of a LIFT must be carried out according to manufacturer’s instructions or the written instructions of a professional engineer.

Retail inspections

Labour and health inspectors would focus on;
[ ] Improper storage of materials at exits, passages, installations
[ ] Emergency exits
[ ] Electrical panels
[ ] Accumulation of liquid or grease on floors
[ ] Signs or barriers before wet floors
[ ] Dull knives
[ ] Lack of guarding on mechanical equipment like lifts and mixers
[ ] Lack of visibility through swing doors
[ ] Poor maintenance of dollies and carts

Are safe procedures followed;
[ ] Electrical equipment unplugged while being cleaned
[ ] Gloves used for handling waste
[ ] Lifting procedures ergonomically safe
[ ] Do workers safeguard one another
[ ] Do workers know procedures for working alone.

Employers must assess and manage risks

Employers must manage their risks, requiring a risk assessment, regular meetings of a health and safety committee, and records. Classify hazards according to priority and assign people to remedy and maintain each. Redo risk assessment before and after new construction, equipment, stock or procedures. Follow up on actions.

Report and remedy serious hazards or unsafe work practices immediately. For example, if you find that a ladder has a loose or damaged rung, immediately remove it from service and repair it or replace it with a new ladder.
Employers must communicate risks and management procedures to workers.

Users or lessors of an electrical installation must on request produce a certificate of compliance to an inspector or supplier. When in doubt on interpretation of the OHS Act, contact the Department of Labour (DOL).

DOL provincial and regional offices

Eastern Cape; East London 043 701 3000
Free State; Bloemfontein 051 505 6200
Gauteng North; Pretoria 012 309 5000
Gauteng South; Johannesburg 011 497 3222
KwaZulu-Natal; Durban 031 336 2000
Limpopo; Polokwane 015 290 1744
Mpumalanga; Witbank 013 655 8700
North West; Mafikeng 018 387 1800
Northern Cape; Kimberley 053 838 1500
Western Cape; Cape Town 021 441 8000

DOL Labour Centres in Eastern Cape

Aliwal North 051 633 2633
Butterworth 047 491 0490
Cradock 048 881 3010
East London 043 702 7500
Fort Beaufort 046 645 4686
Graaf-Reinet 049 892 2142
Grahamstown 046 622 2104
King William’s Town 043 642 3401
Lusikisiki 039 253 1996
Maclear 045 932 1424
Mdantsane 043 761 3151
Port Elizabeth 041 506 5000
Queenstown 045 807 5400
Uitenhage 041 992 4627
Umtata 047 501 5600

DOL Labour Centres in Free State

Bethlehem 058 303 5293
Bloemfontein 051 505 6200
Ficksburg 051 933 2299
Harrismith 058 623 2977
Kroonstad 056 215 1812
Parys 056 811 3043
Petrusburg 053 574 0932
Phuthaditjhaba 058 713 0373
Sasolburg 016 970 3200
Thaba Nchu 051 873 2004
Welkom 057 391 0200
Zastron 051 673 1471

DOL Labour Centres in Gauteng North

Atteridgeville 012 386 5116
Bronkhorstspruit 013 932 0197
Garankuwa 012 702 4525
Krugersdorp 011 955 4420
Mamelodi 012 805 5090
Pretoria 012 309 5050
Randfontein 011 693 3618
Soshanguve 012 799 7395
Temba 012 717 9500

DOL Labour Centres in Gauteng South
Alberton 011 861 6130
Benoni 011 747 9601
Boksburg 011 898 3340
Brakpan 011 744 9000
Carletonville 018 788 3281
Germiston 011 345 6300
Johannesburg 011 497 3163
Kempton Park 011 975 9301
Nigel 011 814 7095
Randburg 011 781 8144
Roodepoort 011 766 2000
Sandton 011 444 7631
Sebokeng 016 988 2626
Soweto 011 939 1200
Springs 011 362 6636
Vanderbijlpark 016 981 0280
Vereeniging 016 430 0000

DOL Labour Centres in KwaZulu-Natal

Dundee 034 212 3147
Durban 031 336 1500
Estcourt 036 352 2161
Kokstad 039 727 2140
Ladysmith 036 637 3461
Newcastle 034 312 6038
Pietermaritzburg 033 342 9361
Pinetown 031 700 2206
Port Shepstone 039 682 2406
Prospecton 031 902 1590
Richards Bay 035 789 3760
Richmond 033 212 2768
Stanger 032 551 4291
Ulundi 035 879 1439
Verulam 032 533 5050
Vryheid 034 980 8992

DOL Labour Centres in Limpopo

Giyani 015 812 9041
Lebowakgomo 015 633 6958
Lephalale 014 763 2162
Makhado 015 516 0207
Modimolle 014 717 1046
Mokopani 015 491 5973
Phalaborwa 015 781 5114
Polokwane 015 299 5000
Seshego 015 223 7020
Thohoyandou 015 960 1300
Tzaneen 015 306 2600

DOL Labour Centres in Mpumalanga

Baberton 031 712 306_
Bethal 017 647 2383
Carolina 017 843 1077
Ermelo 017 819 7632
Evander 017 632 2295
Groblersdal 013 262 3150
Kwamhlanga 013 947 3173
Lydenburg 013 235 2368
Middelburg 013 283 3600
Nelspruit 013 753 2844
Nhlazatshe 017 883 2414
Piet Retief 017 826 1883
Sabie 013 764 2105
Secunda 017 631 2585
Standerton 017 712 1351
Volksrust 017 735 2994

DOL Labour Centres in Northern Cape

Calvinia 027 341 1523
De Aar 053 631 0952
Kimberley 053 838 1500
Kuruman 053 712 3952
Postmasburg 053 313 0641
Springbok 027 718 1058
Upington 054 331 1752

DOL Labour Centres in North West

Brits 012 252 3068
Christiana 053 441 2120
Klerksdorp 018 464 8700
Lichtenburg 018 632 4323
Mafikeng 018 _81 1010
Mogwase 014 555 5693
Potchefstroom 018 297 5100
Rustenburg 014 592 8214
Taung 053 994 1679
Vryburg 053 927 5221

DOL Labour Centres in Western Cape

Beaufort West 023 414 3427
Bellville 021 941 7000
Cape Town 021 460 5911
Claremont 021 683 2388
George 044 801 1201
Knysna 044 382 3150
Mitchell’s Plain 021 376 1771
Mossel Bay 044 691 1140
Oudtshoorn 044 272 4370
Paarl 021 872 2020
Somerset West 021 852 2535
Vredenburg 022 715 1627
Worcester 023 347 0152

PHOTO; Flammable signage on a chevron dragon is not supported by standardised signage practice, but it does get a message across. Retail employers must assess and manage risks, and warn and inform workers as well as the public of remaining and temporary hazards like slips, trips and flammables.

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