With the launch of Christmas campaigns and increasing high street footfall figures in UK shops, accidents in retail could become a bigger problem for retailers.

Summer 2016 saw high streets come out on top as shoppers’ destination of choice, with a record number of 5 million customers pounding the streets across the UK. With the start of the  Christmas season fast approaching, high streets and shopping locations everywhere are set for another increase in footfall which, warns our Personal Injury expert, increases the risk of an accident.

Accidents in retail are not uncommon, and are not just caused by high volumes of shoppers; poor weather caused a number of well-known shops to become so hazardous that they had to be closed this year. The September storms in the North West saw stores become dangerous, as Harvey Nichols shoppers were seen paddling as the water came in through the ceiling, Asda in Tameside became flooded and shoppers had to be evacuated as the store was deemed unsafe and had to be closed. The storms also affected southern parts of the Country, where a Sainsbury’s store in Kent also had to be shut down due to flooding creating an unsafe environment.

Weather is only one hazardous factor in retail incidents, there are many common sources of accidents that unfortunately cause injury to shoppers:

  • Welcome mats in stores causing trips and falls
  • Spillage of stock, including clothing, food and liquids
  • Failure to put up warning signs of spillages
  • Over-polished floors
  • Blunt or sharp edges sticking out
  • Lifts that cause trips and falls

Accidents and hazards are not just limited to shoppers; employee accidents are also very common in retail, from stock rooms to shop floors, common examples of incidents include:

  • Stock collapsing and causing injury
  • Stock being incorrectly stored, causing damage and injury
  • Lifting and carrying heavy stock
  • Hazards on the shop floor such as shopping baskets, step-stools or hangers
  • Injuries to both employees and shoppers were caused by roll cages.

Accidents in retail can be caused by a range of factors from overcrowding to inefficient stock storage, therefore it is important that retailers put initiatives in place to limit accidents happening, such as swift staff response to clean up spills, warning signs for slippery surfaces, and staff to ensure shop floors are clear and free from hazards. This will not stop all accidents from happening, but it will increase customer safety and reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

If you have been affected by any of the above incidents or similar, and you would like to speak to a member of our specialist personal injury department, call 0161 930 5151 or fill in our online contact form to receive expert, tailored legal advice.

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