A disorganized backroom might be an even bigger problem than you realize. First, there are the obvious issues associated with not being able to find the items you need and losing track of your inventory. But did you know that a poorly organized backroom can also be a safety hazard? That’s why it’s important to take backroom housekeeping and safety seriously.

Items Should Be Easy to Reach

Many workplace injuries occur when workers are lifting heavy items. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that overexertion while lifting is one of the leading causes of injuries in multiple industries, including general merchandise stores, accommodation, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, and others.

To prevent lifting injuries in the backroom, avoid placing items where workers will have to stretch, twist or otherwise engage in unsafe lifting behavior.

Injuries could also occur if workers are struck by falling items or fall while trying to reach items. Make sure items are not stacked in a precarious manner that could result in items falling and striking workers. Keep stepladders and other equipment accessible and in good condition.

Exits Should Be Clear

Having clear exits can make the difference between life and death. A recent tragedy in Las Vegas shows why this is so important. The Las Vegas Review-Journal says multiple lawsuits have been filed against the owner of the Alpine Motel after a fire killed six people. Among other claims, the lawsuits allege that the owner and operator of the motel barricaded the rear exit door.

To avoid a situation where people are trapped inside, the exits should never be blocked by boxes or other items, and emergency exits should stay unlocked when people are present.

It’s also important to make sure that the exits can be reached easily. The aisles should be wide enough to ensure that people can pass. Watch for tripping hazards, such as cords in the walkway, and clean up any boxes or other items in the walkway. Also watch for spills and puddles and clean them up.

Controls and Equipment Should Be Accessible

Various controls and equipment may be located in the backroom, and you backroom housekeeping and safety practices should ensure that these items are always accessible. This may include sprinkler system control valves and electrical panels.

Additionally, any safety equipment kept in the backroom, such as fire extinguishers or medical supplies, should also be easy to access.

When’s the Last Time You Assessed Your Backroom for Safety?

Backroom housekeeping and safety best practices can help keep your workers safe, but your backroom might not be getting the attention it deserves. Assess your backroom for potential dangers and correct any issues you find.

Download our Backroom Housekeeping and Safety Tip and regularly train and monitor your team to ensure best practices are followed. Talk to the grocery insurance team at RiskPoint Advisors to ensure you have adequate protection against this costly exposure.

Joe Scarpello Melissa Johnson
253.444.5584 253.444.5654
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