Even though there is a wide range of shelving options available to New York retailers, you may find while you are shopping that many of these establishments often resort to stacking their wares on floor displays and on shelving. At The Carey Firm, we understand that stacking can be a safe method of displaying merchandise. However, it requires a number of precautions to keep workers and customers from being struck and seriously injured by falling objects.

The Member Insurance Agency warns that the following characteristics may indicate that falling merchandise is likely:

  • Inventory stacked too high on tall shelves
  • Products on shelves not secured by bars, ties, fencing or shelf extenders
  • No warning signage or cords in areas where stocking is taking place
  • Different sizes or shapes of merchandise stacked together
  • Heavier objects stacked on top of lighter objects
  • Merchandise that is larger than the shelf it is on

You may also be at risk if the items you want are on a shelf that is above your shoulder level, or the objects are pushed to the back of a deep shelf.

All of these risk factors are preventable. Safety experts recommend that retailers stock items that customers most frequently purchase at waist height, and keep all merchandise pulled to the fronts of shelves. When lower shelving is not possible, you should be able to easily notify an employee that you need help, and employees should have tools and/or ladders readily available in order to safely access the items.

More information about businesses’ responsibilities to keep customers safe is available on our webpage.

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