How Retail Industry Workers Can Protect Themselves and Customers From Ongoing Health Risks

Brick-and-mortar retail stores face unique business challenges to protect employees and customers from ongoing health risks. While many retailers have used technology to replicate or replace in-store shopping experiences, physical storefronts are essential for meeting customer needs, like coordinating product returns and supporting in-store browsing.

Protecting Retail Workers From Health Risks

Retail employees face ongoing health risks given the close contact and high-touch nature of retail work. Store owners and management are directly responsible for protecting their teams and customers, but retail employees should also take additional precautions to limit the potential spread of illness.

Our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook”, offers practical advice for how retail industry employers and employees can safely conduct in-person work. The guidance borrows from the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and expert advice from other leading health and government organizations.

These guidelines share actionable steps and recommendations to protect retail shoppers and employees, including information on the following key areas:

  • How retail store employees can minimize their health risks:
    • Recommended personal protective equipment for retail employees and shoppers

    • Best practices to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 or similar viruses while navigating retail environments

    • What store employees should do if they feel the urge to sneeze or cough at work

    • Disinfection protocols for store areas, including points of sale and fitting rooms

    • Recommended ways to best communicate with customers in a safe and distanced way

  • How retail store owners can protect their workers and customers:
    • Guidance on how to enable physical distancing in retail store environments, including solutions like e-commerce and contactless curbside pick-up to reduce the amount of in-store traffic

    • Communications tools and best practices to keep employees and customers aware of the latest safety protocols

    • Ways to rearrange store merchandise and displays with distancing in mind

    • Considerations for store restroom or bathroom facilities, including cleaning procedures

Download our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” to learn proven strategies to protect retail store employees and customers.

Additional Retail Environment Safety Resources

To access more help and resources to understand and avoid the health risks of retail work, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.

Resources by Type

  • Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook
    The recent pandemic has taught us many important lessons about the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, RSV, and measles in indoor environments. As a result, we must take advantage of what we have learned to help ensure our places of work are and continue to be safe places for our workers, customers, and communities. Many of the steps you can take to help keep buildings and the people in them safer and healthier are simple and effective and can be adjusted to meet the current situation or infectious disease risk that exists. In this e-book, we will walk you through the different approaches to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases depending on your workplace setting.