1. Door Displays
Incidents involving door displays have been frequent at ReStores. Doors are heavy, awkward to handle, and are often stacked leaning against one another. This method of storing results in incidents while moving one to get to another.
The doors can easily shift and strike a customer causing an injury. Doors should be stored in proper storage racks. The racks should not be overloaded.
2. Trips and Falls – Inside from Merchandise
Trips and falls while inside the ReStore can be the result of many factors, but many incidents have occurred from tripping over merchandise. Keeping distinct aisleways and keeping those aisleways clear is essential. Keeping merchandise on shelving rather than sitting on the floor is encouraged. Be especially aware of long, thin items like molding, lumber, and fluorescent light fixtures which may protrude into aisleways and be difficult to see.
3. Trips and Falls – Inside from Floor Elevation Changes
Changes in floor elevations can cause falls to customers and
employees Elevation changes can be stairs, but they may also be lips of flooring as one floor surface changes to another. Older buildings may have slightly different levels with one or two steps between the two. Thresholds to smooth the transition from one surface to another should be used when possible. Highlight any elevation changes by painting the edges of stair treads.
4. Trips and Falls – Parking Lots
Trips and falls in parking lots are frequent occurrences and can occur to customers or employees. Pot holes, large cracks, parking blocks, and broken up surfaces can result in trips, slips, and falls. Maintain parking lots in good condition. Repair holes and remove trip hazards. Sweep up any deteriorating surfaces on a regular basis if resurfacing is not feasible.
5. Striking Up Against Merchandise
Customers striking up against merchandise can result in cuts, torn clothing, or cause a fall. Merchandise protruding into aisleways or from shelves is a common cause. Arranging merchandise where customers have to reach or step across other merchandise can also result in these types of claims. Orderly arrangements of merchandise and good housekeeping are needed to manage this exposure.
6. Damage to Customer Property
Loading customer vehicles can cause damage to upholstery, paint, and glass. Do not force items into vehicles. Close hatches and tailgates gently to make certain they don’t contact items. Secure buggies/carts so that
they do not roll into customer vehicles. When picking up at a donor location, know what items are to be picked up, their size if applicable, and where in the donor home or business they are located. Arrive with adequate material handling equipment and personnel to safely remove the items.
ReStore employees should use dollies, handtrucks, etc. when merchandise is heavy or of large or awkward size. Obtain additional employee assistance when lifting if mechanical means are not available. Teach proper lifting techniques and observe lifting techniques so that good techniques can be reinforced. Proper techniques include testing the weight of the load, keeping the load close to the body, grasping on opposite sides of the box or object, keeping the back in a natural posture, and pivoting feet rather than twisting.
8. Vehicle Operation
Drivers of any vehicle should be properly qualified before being allowed to drive. A list of who is allowed to drive should be maintained. Qualification should include verifying of a valid driver’s license (make a copy for the file), obtaining motor vehicle reports (MVRs) which obtain the past driving violation history of an individual, and updating the MVR every two years.
9. Property Protection
Property can be exposed to numerous perils including fire, wind, flood, earthquake, vandalism, etc. Each property is different and should be evaluated accordingly. Some controls are universal including good housekeeping, maintaining electrical service in good condition (including not using extension cords for permanent wiring, no open breakers on
electrical panels, keeping covers on electrical outlets and switches), and maintaining an adequate supply of portable fire extinguishers (serviced annually). Best practices include sprinklers and fire detection systems with central station alarm monitoring, monitored security systems, and fencing to restrict entry to lots.
Cash kept on hand should be minimized by making frequent deposits (but not at predetermined times which could be tracked). Cash registers should be emptied at night. All doors should be secured including padlocking channels of roll up doors. A monitored alarm system is recommended. Discourage collection of cash by drivers using drop boxes welded to the
truck if needed.