supermarket aisle shelves

Objects falling from above can pose a serious danger, and workers are at increased risk when merchandise is stored up high.

Below is an overview of these retail industry risks to help you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and how to mitigate them:


In the Retail Store:

  • Use caution when dealing with towering displays. At times customers may attempt to reach for items above their heads, and merchandise could fall and injure them.

  • Customers may also attempt to move ladders to climb and reach for products on high-rack shelving. Make sure ladders are labelled and secured so only qualified employees use them.

  • Regularly check the store for unsafe situations in which merchandise could fall, much like you do for spills on the floor. If you discover a potential falling merchandise hazard, fix or restack it immediately.

  • Children are especially at high risk. Get involved as courteously as possible if you see a child that is unsupervised or misbehaving in a way that could be harmful, such as climbing on shelves or merchandise


In the Warehouse:

  • When working at a height, use signs and barricades to alert those on the ground level.

  • When on the ground, pay attention to warning signs and do not stand under people or materials.

  • Do not stand or walk under a forklift or any kind of moving load.

  • When working above, never set tools and materials on the edge of a fork lift, ladder or shelving. Unsecured items can easily fall.

  • When working at a height, do not keep any objects in your pocket. They could slip out when you bend over and injure someone below.

  • Use extreme caution and follow all safety precautions when operating powered industrial trucks. Never exceed the lifting capacity.




Find Out More:

This list is not exhaustive, and assessing your company’s exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your retail industry business.

Download our “Safety Matters – Beware of Falling Merchandise” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management: