Hardware Retailing

DEC 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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December 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 57 with demos and product giveaways from manufacturers," Martin says. "This has been a great way to show appreciation to these customers and encourage them to continue working with us." If you are holding a special contractor event, Martin says including safety vendors can help drive conversation on the category and potentially encourage sales. This invitation gives contractors face time with vendors and arms them with current information on safety products, a category in which understanding current regulations can often be complicated and change frequently. By hosting the event, you position yourself as the safety expert and the source customers rely on. Attendees will view your team and your product selection as reliable sources of safety equipment. Educate to Stay Safe As is the case with any industrial or commercial company doing business with you, it's important to ask questions and deliver the safety items a customer needs. Since 1970, American workers have been protected by OSHA. Although adhering to OSHA's regulations may seem daunting at first, they are necessary to keep employees across all industries safe on the job. In addition to selling safety equipment, OSHA spokesperson Kimberly Darby recommends retailers encourage their B2B accounts to utilize the educational resources OSHA provides. "OSHA can provide compliance assistance through a variety of programs, including technical assistance about effective safety and health programs, on-site workplace consultations, training and education," Darby says. OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program offers free, confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-size businesses in all states and several territories across the country, with priority given to high-hazard work sites, according to Darby. Explain to your customers that utilizing this free training resource is not the same as an enforcement visit, so it won't result in penalties or violations at their job site. As a supplier of safety equipment in your community, you have the opportunity to gain loyalty with small-scale contractors in this category. Since many contractors are navigating safety regulations on their own, your retail business can help facilitate the free consultations OSHA offers to commercial and industrial customers at their places of work. These resources are just another way to help you build stronger relationships with your B2B customers. Top 8 Most-Cited OSHA Violations OSHA releases its most-cited violations for the previous year on an annual basis. This list gives employers a chance to see the most common mistakes made across all industries. Check out this list from 2017 to help your B2B customers focus on ways to prevent accidents. Fall Protection Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA provides strict regulations to prevent falls and injuries, like using guardrails and safety harnesses. Hazard Communication Standard All employers handling hazardous chemicals in the workplace must have labels and safety data sheets visible to all workers who are exposed to hazardous chemicals. Scaffolding An estimated 2.3 million construction workers work on scaffolding, according to OSHA. Using OSHA-compliant equipment may prevent injuries and deaths from scaffolding accidents. Respiratory Protection Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays, which may cause lung impairment, cancer or death. Control of Hazardous Energy Energy sources, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemicals and others, can be hazardous to workers. Workers can be seriously injured or killed if energy is not properly controlled. Ladders Ladders are a major source of injuries and fatalities among construction workers. OSHA has a list of regulations specifically related to the use of ladders employers should be aware of. Powered Industrial Trucks Powered industrial trucks, or forklifts, are used in many industries to move or lift materials. Each type of truck poses different operating hazards, so employers should consult OSHA standards. Machinery and Machine Guarding Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness. Safeguards are essential to protect workers.

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