Congratulations on creating a Safer Store! Here's a checklist with 10 actions you can take to make your store healthier and safer for customers and employees while reducing your compliance risk:
___ (1) Conduct a store walkthrough. Look for areas of improvement in the cleaning supplies and hazardous products you use and sell.
___ (2) Handle hazardous waste properly: Chances are, you can return damaged or expired products to your vendor. Alternately, you can set-up a hazardous waste sorting, storage and disposal program. Learn what to do with our hazardous waste guide.
___ (3) Opt for safer cleaners in the store: Contact your vendor to learn about “green” lines of cleaning products – almost all commercial cleaning vendors offer these alternatives, they work just as well as conventional cleaners, and often cost the same amount. Learn more about Safer Choice products under Resources and read our green cleaning guide.
___ (4) Promote safer cleaners to your customers: Promotional displays that attract the attention of consumers can boost sales and profits. Shelf danglers can easily attract your customers to preferred products, and you may be able to get these for free from manufacturers. Learn more and find a downloadable promotional tag under Resources.
___ (5) Properly stores and recycle fluorescent bulbs: Many people are unaware that these bulbs contain mercury a dangerous neurotoxin. They should be carefully collected, stored, and sent to a facility for handling, to avoid exposure in the store. Find a simple guide for recycling lamps under Resources.
___ (6) Opt for LED lighting: Eliminate the hazards of fluorescent lighting, while saving energy and money. Contact your utility to take advantage of rebates, incentives and free energy assessments.
___ (7) Evaluate your parking lot maintenance: Some states and municipalities now ban the use of coal tar as a parking lot sealant because it contains toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been found to increase the risk for cancer, especially in children. Talk to your service provider about the alternatives that are coming to market.
___ (8) Establish store protocols: Based on what you've learned and implemented, create protocols for cleaning supplies, hazardous waste, and other issues that are relevant for your store.
___ (9) Train staff properly and provide refreshers: Make sure your efforts pay off by training staff to adhere to your protocols. Use the resources in this toolkit to help!
___ (10) Commit to taking action: Establish a store policy that sets goals and expectations for all the actions listed above.