OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Download the free OSH Answers app
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

Retail Sales and Service - General

What are the general duties of someone who works in retail sales and service, or in a similar job that involves working with the public?

Some of the main duties of sales and service personnel in stores, hotels and other locations are to:

  • Greet customers and discuss details of the transaction.
  • Determine method of payment, and prepare bills, invoices and other documents.
  • Assemble displays of merchandise.
  • Maintain inventory of merchandise.
  • Maintain internal record-keeping systems.
  • Working with computers, bar readers and other electronic devices.
  • Be aware of customer actions while on the premises (e.g., be alert to potential issues or acts of theft).

What are some health and safety issues for retail sales and service personnel?

What are some preventive measures for retail sales and service personnel?

  • Learn safe lifting procedures.
  • Learn fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures, including how to assist customers when evacuating.
  • Learn how to use equipment and tools safely.
  • Avoid or take frequent breaks from awkward body positions.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for your comfort and safety.
  • Keep all work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
  • Establish good housekeeping practices.
  • Learn safe handling and storage procedures before working with chemicals.
  • Know how to react in an violent situation.
  • Keep a mobile phone or other alternative means to contact a designated person when working alone.
  • Do not exceed the capacity of the shelves when storing merchandise.
  • Do not block fire-exits and fire-extinguishers.
  • Keep a first-aid kit within easy access.

What are some good general safe work practices?

Document last updated on December 2, 2014

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.