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Falling Merchandise

The first stage of accident prevention within any given environment demands that attention be give to the identification of potential hazards contained within such environment, so that such hazards can be eliminated or otherwise safeguarded as sources of injury. In this regard, there are only a limited number of hazard types to be identified – that is, a fairly short list of potential hazard types can be used to identify nearly all potential hazards in any given environment.

In this regard, only six categories of hazards can typically be used to identify nearly all potential hazards within any given environment or system. These categories include:

  • Mechanical hazards (things that cut, crush, shear, pinch, etc.)
  • Electrical hazards
  • Chemical hazards (things that are corrosive, toxic, flammable, etc.)
  • Kinetic or impact hazards (things in motion)
  • Potential or stored energy hazards (things that are susceptible to unexpected movement, such as things under pressure, tension, or compression – or things that can fall)

A common type of hazard in commercial environments is falling merchandise and other objects (associated with potential and impact energy) positioned above the heads of customers who might be struck by such objects should they fall. The potential for merchandise or other objects to fall in commercial environments is recognized in the authoritative safety literature as a significant source of customer injury, and therefore, must be a significant concern of management.

See Nelson & Associates’ Fact Sheet titled: Physics Calculations Related To Falling Objects

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