Daily Two Cents

How to Deal with Accidents in Your Store

We’ve all heard the common sayings, ‘Accidents happen.’ And that’s true. It’s almost impossible to guarantee everything will always go on perfectly without any incidences, no matter how well prepared you are, whether in life or in business. The important thing is to ensure that accidents are rare and handled properly when they do occur. 

If you’re an employee or a customer, there are a variety of ways you can have accidents in your store. The most common cause is negligence or sloppiness of the management or staff. In other words, their inability to follow protocols to protect you from harm.

Some of the most common business accidents are caused by carelessness and include: 

  • Wet ground and litter
  • Discarded items like wires, clothes and packaging
  • Objects which fell from poorly constructed shelves
  • Falling Mannequins and other display things
  • Loose carpets or broken floors
  • Slippery steps
  • Poor illumination

No matter how you obtain an injury, you will have entitlement to compensation, that is if the injury happened as a result of someone’s incompetence.

What to do when an employee gets hurt

  1. Get urgent medical attention. 
  2. Report a claim
  3. Document the employer’s report of the incident. 

What to do when a customer is involved in an accident at your store

  1. Examine the place the accident happened
  2. Apply your store’s HSE policy

Key takeaways on what to do when there’s an accident

  1. Take charge of the scene and try to maintain order.
  2. Provide first aid and call for emergency assistance. If you can, give immediate care and make someone else call for support.
  3. Tend to any other likely additional injuries. This involves restricting entry to individuals who should not be there. For instance, if there is a spill, you don’t want any staff or clients to come in and trip.
  4. Identify individuals and at-scene circumstances. Individuals are observers of what happened. Let anyone at the scene get their names written down. When you’re on the scene alone, try to peek around to see who’s there.
  5. Keep physical proof.
  6. An accident report should be complete within 24 hours of the accident and forwarded to supervisors.
  7. A follow-up report should be undertaken within 48 hours and finished within 30 days.
  8. Use your business insurance.

Why you should have a business insurance

Just like car insurance protects you in the case of a car crash, public liability insurance covers you in the event of an accident in your place of business. It will shield your store against claims of personal accidents. 

If you sell a product, you’ll be held liable if any injury occurs from using the good or product. This means if the product is unsafe, doesn’t come with the proper precautions or has a manufacturing flaw which makes it dangerous, an injured person can sue you. They can claim damages for their hospital costs and other expenses.


Accidents happen, but when an accident occurs, it is left to you to decide what to do. If your staff or a customer is injured, take the right actions after an accident. It will help mitigate your own responsibility as a store owner.