As many shop owners prepare to open back up again, there are additional safety factors to consider to stay in line with Covid-19 regulations.

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Of course, it’s vitally important to keep everyone safe and practice social distancing. But paying additional attention to these precautions shouldn’t mean neglecting other responsibilities. Shop insurance should always be in place when you are open, but there are ways to minimise the risk of making a claim on your business insurance.

Carry out a risk assessment before opening

With all the additional checks required it may be easy for this to slip your mind, but preparation is key.

Consider anything that has changed since you were last open, for example layout changes, new opening hours or staff changes.

Take the time to re-evaluate the customer journey before you open. Also think about anything that staff may need to re-adjust to in relation to Covid-19 precautions. Could this cause a risk to other elements of the shop?

Minimise slip and trip hazards

Additional cleaning methods and signage could cause new hazards in your shop, especially if it

is a small space. When cleaning, make sure no walking surfaces are left slippery (it’s easy to accidentally spray the ground at the same time as a shelf!) and if floor signage is in place make sure it is highly visible and not in the way of any shelves.

Good lighting can also help people to see any trip hazards in your store, so make sure there are no dark areas.

Additionally, falls can occur from heights with staff restocking shelves, changing lightbulbs etc. Step ladders should be checked before they are alighted. And of course, staff should take care to not leave any boxes or packaging lying around after restocking.

Be cautious with cleaning products

With a heightened awareness of the necessity to clean and sanitise, there could be more chemicals in the shop than there used to be. Cleaning products should be used according to the instructions given to avoid causing illness to staff or customers.

Make sure that your shop is well ventilated to avoid breathing in too many chemicals and also in line with Covid-19 regulations. Protective clothing should also be worn while using strong cleaning products.

Check electrical equipment

Any equipment that hasn’t been used for a while should be checked to make sure it is in safe, working order. Heating, air conditioning units, tills and lights should all be checked regularly, but especially if they have been inactive for some time there could be unknown faults.

Unsafe electrical items can cause shocks or even fires, so it’s important to keep them in working order to keep staff and customers safe.

Fire hazard assessments

It may be a while since you’ve been able to carry out a risk assessment for fire in your shop. Checking electrical items will go some way to minimising risk of a fire, but you should also make sure that fire extinguishers are installed and smoke alarms are working properly.

Fire exits should be kept clear and a clear exit plan should be laid out in the event of a fire. But minimising risks regularly is the first step to ensuring your shop is fire safe.

Manual handling

If it’s been a few months since employees have been lifting heavy items or delivery drivers have been leaving orders to collect from the door, it’s a good idea to refresh manual handling training to avoid back injuries, muscle strains or bruising.

Trolleys or lifting equipment should be utilised where applicable and training also needs to be provided on how to use these tools properly.

We really hope that you have an enjoyable experience reopening your shop. Following these basic steps can go a long way to avoiding unnecessary business insurance claims.

Whether you’re opening for the first time and need a new shop insurance policy, or if you’re reopening and have reevaluated your needs, you can always chat to Britton Insurance about your requirements. Whatever size or type of shop you have, we have an array of business insurance options to suit your needs.