Health and safety representative

Safework identifies more training for Retail Workers

Cindy Jackway
Tuesday, November 7th 2023

SafeWork SA inspectors attended 89 retail workplaces in metropolitan and regional South Australia between June 2022 and January 2023.

The inspectors issued 28 Improvement Notices during the campaign. Major areas of non-compliance included a lack of training for retail workers on how to deal with violence, aggression, and armed robberies. This accounted for 42% of the non-compliance notices issued during the campaign.

A national survey of retail workers conducted by the SDA in 2017 found that 85 per cent of respondents had been subjected to verbal abuse from a customer in the previous 12 months. Almost 65 per cent said they had not received any training in the previous 12 months on how to deal with threatening situations, including abusive or violent customers.

The spotlight on aggressive and violent behaviour of customers was highlighted during and post covid where we saw the need to upskill frontline staff on how to deal with aggressive behaviour and tactics to de-escalate conflict.

As we move into the Christmas period, its timely to remind ourselves of the need to be respectful of retail workers while shopping, but also for those who are retail workers to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to respond effectively.

The South Australian Business Chamber s Customer Service and Conflict Management course provides participants with the essential strategies and skills to assist in dealing with challenging situations in the workplace: Customer Service and Conflict Management — Training Course


Cindy Jackway

Training Manager
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