Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

    • DisheartenedStudent
    • By DisheartenedStudent 4th Apr 17, 11:27 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Feeling unsafe at work
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 17, 11:27 AM
    Feeling unsafe at work 4th Apr 17 at 11:27 AM
    Hi everyone,

    I've been working since May last year in retail part time to fund my studies. The place has always been a bit run down but the manager was always saying he'd reported issues/concerns and therefore things were being sorted so I never thought anything of it.

    I'll give you a run down of the issues with the place, however the main point and question I have is whether or not I can take this further or just leave on the spot as I just feel so unsafe working there and it's clear nothing is being done to resolve the problems.

    - I have to scan magazines every Sunday in the back of the shop and to do so have to sit low down in front of a metal framework stacked high with packs of magazines (around 350 packs of magazines/books) so extremely heavy weight. There is also metal shelving stacked on the very top which would basically kill somebody if it fell and hit them. The shelving is lifting away from the framework and two of the shelves are bent inwards due to the overweight of the magazines. As the metal has bent inwards its caused a sharp pointy bit to stick out and therefore whenever anybody grabs something of the shelf it scratches them. The issue I have is the shelving is completely caked in dirt and filth to the point where I asked another colleague why it wasn't replaced and their response was "oh that won't get replaced until it collapses". I've told the team leader it's unsafe weeks ago yet nothing was done so I told my managers who has yet to respond to me.

    - When i began working there I noticed the automatic sliding front doors to the shop didn't work and so just had to remain open at all times. Staff used to joke that the shop is freezing in winter and you have to wear scarf and gloves it's that cold. I laughed along thinking they were exaggerating. Cut to Winter and you really do have to wear gloves, scarves the lot to keep warm. I asked why nobody fixed the doors and "apparently" it was reported 8 years ago and nothing has been done since. The problem is now we serve coffee so wearing gloves is out of the question and the state of our hands when its freezing was a joke.

    - We are so short staffed you generally work alone for up to 6-7 hours a shift in a busy shop situated inside a railway. Expected to carry out lots of jobs including heavy lifting of totes full of magazines, climbing high up to re-stock/scan products on a rickety old step ladder, cleaning, re-stocking books (again carrying huge totes of books through the shop) etc..

    - Regarding the issue of the totes.. we used to have a blue trolley (that was also bent inwards and rusty due to overweight and being taken outside) that would carry the heavy totes across the shop so we didn't have to. Well, it broke at the end of last year and the manager said he reported it to be replaced yet it is still sat in the back of the shop missing a wheel, completely useless and nothing has been sent to replace it. This means we're expected to carry the totes full of heavy magazines/books across the length of the shop.

    - Any health and safety training I've had has always been online with a quiz to take at the end to check you've read everything. The problem is the manager always gets us to do these really close to the end of our shift so we have to rush through and not read them properly just to get to the quiz. Example: Last week he got me out from the front to complete some training online and it was 12.20 (my shift ended at 12.30). There were 2 parts to the training and therefore I just didn't have chance to read through everything and had to rush it. He consistently does this with any sort of training we have to do.

    - Two people are leaving and one person has had a heart attack and so hasn't been at work for months and is unlikely to be back due to their age. That's a loss of around 40 hours a week and he hasn't replaced anybody yet. We just work alone more or cover the hours needed. He's now decided to start looking for a replacement but the hours he has offered are 10 hours per week which is nowhere near enough to cover the people soon to be leaving.

    I've taken photos/videos of the back of the shop as it is absolutely filthy. Drinks and fruit are kept on shelves that are absolutely caked in filth and it's just horrible to think people don't realise what they're buying. We are expected to clean the stockroom and be on the front serving and doing our own designated jobs and sign a sheet off. I never sign it as I think its ridiculous that the manager signs the end of the week sheet to say he is happy the store is clean when it's absolutely filthy. The only way the stockroom would be clean/safe is if all shelving was replaced, all areas we are expected to walk were kept clear and the floor was given a thorough clean. I never eat in the staff room as you can imagine it is awful. The chair for us to use on our break is black with dirt.

    I will try and find a way to upload the pictures as I don't think typing the issues gives the place any justice. I've shown 6-7 people so far and all of them were horrified at the state of the place considering it is a huge chain with a "good" reputation. Although there are online jokes about the company going down the pan so I can't see that reputation standing much longer.

    So, I've been advised to take it further to environmental health etc. Do I have any grounds to do so as I feel as though because it says in our contract we should keep the store clean then it is our responsibility for the absolute state in the back of the storeroom. (I'd generally agree but it's honestly impossible to clear the state it is in and there is never time when you're working alone unless you shut the shop up) Besides, the shelving is a complete health and safety risk.

    I do feel sorry for the manager in some aspects because he has been told he isn't allowed to employ anybody else due to costs and I don't really want to be getting him into trouble as he's a generally nice guy and could face losing his job due to the state of the stockroom.

    Ideally I just want to leave. I handed my notice in on Monday but it's a 4 week notice period and the place is that depressing I just do not want to have to go back. Especially for 4 weeks. Every time I get a scratch at the place it's a worry whether it could turn into an infection due to filth and rust. Stuck between working the full notice period, keep my mouth shut like all the other staff and get on with it or take it higher and refuse to work there.

    Oh..I just remembered a couple of weeks ago I was pulling a huge metal crate across the shop floor, grabbed the edges to lift open the door on it and slammed my hand into a metal edge that was poking out. It was all bent outwards like something must have hit it and so the edge was a spike and caused my hand to bleed. I also took a photo of that.

    It sounds like i'm being petty haha but if you saw the photos I think you'd see what I meant. Any suggestions on how I can upload or where to upload them whilst keeping myself anonymous would be great.
Page 2
    • Piscean1991
    • By Piscean1991 18th Apr 17, 11:32 PM
    • 452 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    If you're leaving anyway, I'd be tempted to contact your Head Office with the photos and details of previous action you've taken.

    Explain that you've felt so unsafe that you've been forced to resign your position and that you are doing them the courtesy of notifying them to give them an opportunity to rectify the issues before you subsequently take it further.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

406Posts Today

5,339Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • I've decided my weekend starts here while the sun's glow is still baskable. So I'm signing off. Have a great weeke?

  • No not correct. The big six do, but you can get fixed tariffs guaranteed not to rise and about 25% cheaper. Just tr?

  • Baaaa! Scottish Power has bleated and followed the herd, today announcing it's putting up energy prices by 5.5%. R?

  • Follow Martin