Shop Workers Union Concerned Over Employee Conditions

Great Britain’s shop workers Union Usdaw (Union of Shop Workers, Distributive and Allied Workers) reports it is extremely worried by the increase in reported incidents of abuse and threats against shop staff recorded by the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC’s) annual survey of retail crime which was published recently.

 
 
The BRC says that, excluding recent riots, the total number of reported incidents of verbal abuse, threats, and violence against shop workers rose by 83% in 2011, driven by a more than three-fold increase in threats and a five-fold increase in incidents of verbal abuse. [WCx]
 
 
On a more positive note, the total number of physical assaults against shop workers reduced by 62.8% in 2011 and the total number of incidents remains on a downward trend. Despite this year's increase, the BRC says the total number of incidents against shop workers has reduced by a compound annual rate of 30% in the past 7 years.
 
 
The BRC attributes part of the this year's overall increase to staff being encouraged to report all threats and incidents of verbal abuse, although the report also highlights the fact that retailers themselves still continue to report less than half of all incidents of shoplifting (46.9%) to the police.
 
 
The BRC's survey also details the human cost of the riots and the appalling levels of violence and fear of violence faced by shop workers in August. In total over more than 5,000 crimes were committed, including 1,860 incidents of arson and criminal damage, 1,649 burglaries, 141 incidents of disorder, 366 incidents of violence against the person and 5 fatalities. The vast majority of employers (81.5%) said their staff was fearful of violence with around a third reporting incidents of physical and verbal violence against staff.
 
 
John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary noted, "The huge leap in reported incidents of verbal abuse and threats against shop workers is extremely worrying and shows why we need to continue to work closely with the BRC, employers, police and other agencies to reduce all incidents of shop crime, create safer workplaces and ensure offenders are brought to justice. [WCx]
 
 
"While the reduction in the number of assaults and continuing downward trend in the total number of incidents is welcome news, our own survey figures indicate there continues to be a significant problem of under-reporting and that these figures remain the tip of a very large iceberg."

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Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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Board Approves Safety Amendments for Late Night Retail Workers

WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors reports it has approved amendments to Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, regarding a third option to protect workers assigned to work alone in late night retail premises. The amendments become effective April 15, 2012.
 
 
The third option addresses implementation issues and challenges with the existing regulation.  The implementation issues were confirmed in three pilot projects and by an independent evaluation.  The conclusions were that options one and two in the current regulatory requirement — hiring additional workers or erecting a barrier — are not practicable for all late night retailers. [WCx]
 
 
This third option does not replace the existing two options in the late night retail safety regulation; it is an additional option, which provides a prescriptive list of engineering and administrative controls. Employers who choose the third option will be required to implement all of the listed controls.  In addition, employers will be required to undertake regular security audits by a qualified and independent person to confirm that all the controls have been implemented.
 
 
Roberta Ellis, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for WorkSafeBC says, “Our priority continues to be protecting late night retail workers from acts of violence.”
 
 
WorkSafeBC consulted with employers and worker representatives when considering the amendments to the regulation. A review of independent research, the results of the pilot project assessing barrier options, a report from an independent audit of the project and feedback from public hearings throughout B.C. were also considered.
 
 
If an employer chooses the third option, they must implement all of the following controls:
 
 
A time lock safe on the premises that cannot be opened during late night hours;
 
Cash and lottery tickets that are not reasonably required in order to operate during late night hours are stored in the time lock safe;
 
 
Good visibility into and out of the premises;
 
Limited access to the inside of the premises;
 
The premises must be monitored by video surveillance;
 
 
There must be signs on the premises indicating that the safe is a time lock safe that cannot be opened during late night hours, there is a limited amount of accessible cash and lottery tickets on the premises, and the premises are monitored by video surveillance. (WCxKit)
 
 
In addition, workers assigned under the third option to work late night hours must be at least 19 years of age and be provided with personal emergency transmitters that are monitored by the employer, a security company, or other person designated by the employer.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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