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March 1, 2001 - ShopKo's Proactive Posture

March 1, 2001 - ShopKo's Proactive Posture

In order to educate its employees and promote an overall store safety, ShopKo Stores and its insurance company have begun a new occupational slip and fall prevention program because occupation slips and falls were the reason for nearly one-quarter of their workers compensation claims.

Thomas Brede, a ShopKo's loss prevention consultant, believes that "even if a store has been incident-free over a period of time, it is important to maintain safety awareness among employees. We have developed an easy-to-follow program that keeps safety on the front burner."

A different safety issue was discussed at each safety committee meeting. So far, six critical safety hazard areas have been identified. As the first step the retailer's safety committee carefully reviewed its OSHA log for the reports of injury, monthly store inspection reports and past loss-prevention recommendations. Then the committee considered employee suggestions.

"Encourage employees to share their suggestions for preventing losses, including alternative work methods," said Mr. Brede. "Advise them to report and help correct congested aisles, pallets and other potential slip and fall hazards."

The awareness program also planed to include training employees on proper work methods and to "clean as they go," and to identify the major causes of employee and customer injuries.

Mr. Brede advised to "inspect the store monthly to identify and eliminate hazards," because "routine inspections combined with timely incident investigation and prompt claim reporting will reduce costs" and said that every accident should be treated as a serious incident and be recorded, no matter how serious the injury was.

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