The importance of including ORC training in APPs
If you have watched the news over the past few years, you know that organized retail crimes (ORC) are rising, in addition to burglaries and armed robberies. These events are increasing across the country, and the perpetrators are becoming increasingly brazen and emboldened in their crimes, putting customers and store employees at risk.
As a Retail Services Retro member, you know that keeping a current accident prevention plan (APP) for each of your business locations is required by L&I. More importantly, meeting safety compliance requirements by providing the tools and the means to keep your workplace safe should be a priority. Yet, less than half of businesses do so.
What does an APP have to do with ORC? The connection is critically important. Employees often come between the products and the thieves. They often feel protective of their employers and store products, even if company policy instructs them to let the thief walk out with stolen goods. Some criminals may assault workers even if employees take no action.
Since such retail crimes are known to be potentially hazardous, employees’ interactions during crimes of theft, vandalism, and violence must be addressed in the APP.
In monthly safety meetings, it is good practice to discuss, train, and rehearse how employees should respond to criminal behaviors, including:
- Flash-mob robberies
- Armed robberies
- Active vandalism
- “Smash and grab” thefts
The good news is that Washington Retail provides several free ORC-related resources for retailers online, including the Guide to Navigating Public Safety & Retail Crime.
Please incorporate these resources into your APP because retail crimes are a known hazard to employees.