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  • Preventing Violence, Robbery, and Theft

    A Guide for Retail Owners, Managers, and Workers

  • About WorkSafeBCWorkSafeBC (the Workers Compensation Board) is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors. It is funded by insurance premiums paid by registered employers and by investment returns. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, WorkSafeBC remains separate and distinct from government; however, it is accountable to the public through government in its role of protecting and maintaining the overall well-being of the workers compensation system.

    WorkSafeBC was born out of a compromise between B.C.s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers or fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to a safe and healthy workplace, and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits to workers injured as a result of their employment.

    WorkSafeBC Prevention Information LineThe WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line can answer your questions about workplace health and safety, worker and employer responsibilities, and reporting a workplace accident or incident. The Prevention Information Line accepts anonymous calls.

    Phone 604 276-3100 in the Lower Mainland, or call 1 888 621-7233 (621-SAFE) toll-free in Canada.

    To report after-hours and weekend accidents and emergencies, call 604 273-7711 in the Lower Mainland, or call 1 866 922-4357 (WCB-HELP) toll-free.

  • Preventing Violence, Robbery, and Theft

    A Guide for Retail Owners, Managers, and Workers

  • Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

    Preventingviolence,robbery,andtheft:aguideforretailowners,managers,andworkers.2010ed.

    IssuedalsobyWorkersCompensationBoardofBritishColumbia.

    ISBN978-0-7726-6344-3

    1.RetailtradeBritishColumbiaSafetymeasures.2.ViolenceintheworkplaceBritishColumbiaPrevention.3.WorkenvironmentBritishColumbia.4.IndustrialsafetyBritishColumbia.I.WorkSafeBC

    HF5429.5P732010 363.119381109711 C2010-906263-9

    2010,2012WorkersCompensationBoardofBritishColumbia.Allrightsreserved.TheWorkersCompensationBoardofB.C.encouragesthecopying,reproduction,anddistributionofthisdocumenttopromotehealthandsafetyintheworkplace,providedthattheWorkersCompensationBoardofB.C.isacknowledged.However,nopartofthispublicationmaybecopied,reproduced,ordistributedforprofitorothercommercialenterprise,normayanypartbeincorporatedintoanyotherpublication,withoutwrittenpermissionoftheWorkersCompensationBoardofB.C.

    2012 edition

    AcknowledgmentsThispublicationwouldnothavebeenpossiblewithoutthegenerousassistanceofvariousorganizationsandindividualsinvolvedwithsmallbusinessinBritishColumbia.WorkSafeBCwouldliketothanktheRetailCouncilofCanadaandtheotherorganizationsandtheirrepresentativeswhohelpedproducethefirstedition,whichthisreprintisbasedon.

    WorkSafeBC publicationsManypublicationsareavailableatWorkSafeBC.com.TheOccupationalHealthandSafetyRegulationandassociatedpoliciesandguidelines,aswellasexcerptsandsummariesoftheWorkers Compensation Act,arealsoavailableonthewebsite.

    Somepublicationsarealsoavailableforpurchaseinprint:

    Phone: 604232-9704Toll-freephone: 1866319-9704Fax: 604232-9703Toll-freefax: 1888232-9714Onlineordering: WorkSafeBC.comandclickonPublications;followthelinksfor

    ordering

  • Contents

    Introduction .................................................................................................1Didyouknow?............................................................................................... 1

    Part 1: Overview..........................................................................................2Keyrisks......................................................................................................... 2

    Reducingtherisk........................................................................................... 3

    Part 2: Preventing violence (for employers) ............................................4Assessingtherisk............................................................................................ 4

    Physicalcontrols(storedesignandsecuritydevices)....................................... 6

    Proceduralcontrols(trainingandsafeworkprocedures)................................. 8

    Part 3: Possible scenarios in retail (tips for employers and employees) ...............................................................................................11

    Shoplifting(theft)........................................................................................ 11

    Robbery....................................................................................................... 12

    Difficultoriratecustomers........................................................................... 14

    Abusivecustomers........................................................................................ 15

    Unwelcomemembersofthepublic.............................................................. 15

    Suspiciouspersons........................................................................................ 16

    Part 4: What to do after a violent incident .............................................17Providefirstaidandothermedicalattentionifnecessary.............................. 17

    Arrangeacriticalincidentinterventionifnecessary...................................... 18

    Watchforsignsandsymptoms..................................................................... 18

    Reportandinvestigatetheincident.............................................................. 19

    Appendices ..............................................................................................20AppendixA:Somedosanddontsforpreventingretailviolence................... 21

    AppendixB:Safetyandsecurityfeedbackreport.......................................... 22

    AppendixC:Suspectandvehicleidentificationsheet................................... 24

    AppendixD:Violentincidentreport............................................................ 25

    AppendixE:Sampleprocedureforregularpersonchecks............................. 27

    AppendixF:Safetyandsecuritychecklist..................................................... 28

    AppendixG:WorkSafeBCForm52E40IncidentInvestigationReport.... 30

    AppendixH:OccupationalHealthandSafetyRegulationexcerptWorkingAloneorinIsolation............................................................... 32

    AppendixI:OccupationalHealthandSafetyRegulationexcerptViolenceintheWorkplace..................................................................... 33

    AppendixJ:RequirementsundertheEmployment Standards Act................... 35

    Otherhealthandsafetyresources................................................................. 36

    Contactinformation.................................................................................... 36

  • A Guide for Retail Owners, Managers, and Workers

    IntroductionDidyouknowthatworkplaceviolenceisoneofthetoptencostswhenitcomestoworkerscompensationclaimsintheretailindustryinBritishColumbia.Surprised?Soaremostpeople.

    Workplaceviolenceincludesincidentsinvolvingtheuseofforce,aswellasthreateningstatementsandbehavioursthatmayleadtophysicalaltercations.Beingabletodealeffectivelywithalltypesofviolentincidentsiscriticalforaretailbusinessanditsemployees.

    Did you know? ViolentincidentsintheB.C.retailindustryresultinclosetoa

    milliondollarsincompensationpaymentsannually.

    Retailcompanieslosemillionsofdollarseachyearasaresultoflostmerchandise,stolenmoney,andpropertydamage.

    Preventionmeasuresusedtoprotectemployeesagainstworkplaceviolencewillalsoreducestoreslosses.

    Employersarerequiredbylawtotrainemployeestodealwiththeriskofworkplaceviolence.

    Itisillegalforemployerstopassthecostsofstorelossesontotheiremployees.(SeeAppendixJ,page35.)

    What is violence?

    The Occupational Health and Safety

    Regulation defines workplace

    violence as the attempted or actual

    exercise by a person, other than

    a worker, of any physical force so

    as to cause injury to a worker, and

    includes any threatening statement

    or behaviour which gives a worker

    reasonable cause to believe that he

    or she is at risk of injury.

    Violence statistics

    The B.C. Crime Prevention Association surveyed

    1,200 retail employees in B.C., and found that

    21% of them had been subjected to violence or

    aggressive acts related to work.

    From 2007 to 2011, acts of violence or force in the

    B.C. retail industry ranked ninth among causes of

    work-related injury in terms of claim costs paid.

    Over that period:

    The total cost of claims came to over $7.5 million

    There was an average of 85 violence-related

    claims each year

    The average cost paid per claim was the highest

    of all accident types

    Considering the nature of violence, the actual costs

    to business and the personal toll on front-line

    employees are likely much higher.

  • Preventing Violence, Robbery, and Theft

    Part 1: OverviewInmanyretailbusinesses,front-lineemployeesareatriskfromviolentincidentsonadailybasis.Thereareseveralreasonsforthis.Inmostoperations,thepublichasfreeandeasyaccesstothestoreandemployeesfrequentlyneedtodealwithpeopletheydontknow.Inaddition,retailbusinessestypicallykeepcashonhand,displaytemptingmerchandise,remainopenforextendedhours,andemploylargenumbersofyoungworkers.

    Key risksThefollowingarekeyrisksformanyretailbusinesses:

    Robberyandassault Shoplifting Abusiveanddifficultcustomers Unwelcomemembersofthepu

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