HARRIS TEETER TAKING STEPS TO AVOID SLIP AND FALL INCIDENTS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Harris Teeter here is intensifying training of associates and providing cleanup supplies on the store floor, with the goal of cutting slip and fall incidents in half chainwide by the end of September.Roger Helms, buyer of supplies, said Harris Teeter is making associates aware of the number of slip and fall incidents and their costs to the retailer through training and informational

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Harris Teeter here is intensifying training of associates and providing cleanup supplies on the store floor, with the goal of cutting slip and fall incidents in half chainwide by the end of September.

Roger Helms, buyer of supplies, said Harris Teeter is making associates aware of the number of slip and fall incidents and their costs to the retailer through training and informational materials.

While he declined to specify the number of slip and falls Harris Teeter has experienced in its stores or the cost associated with them, Helms said, "Someone can slip on water on the floor or a grape or a strawberry and it may not end up costing you anything. But someone can slip, fall and get hurt and it can end up costing you $50,000 or $75,000. It can happen. It does happen, not only here but in any store."

He said posters are being used in store backrooms to alert associates to the dangers of spills. In addition, the retailer recently began shipping towel dispensers for use in the stores. Harris Teeter currently has more than 800 towel dispensers in use at its roughly 137 stores.

The towel dispensers are being used mostly in produce areas, but can also be used around the seafood or dairy aisle where there may be water or other debris on the floor, Helms said.

In addition to the towel dispensers, Harris Teeter has begun using compact, collapsible "wet floor" signs that fit in 2-inch-diameter tubes. These tubes can be easily affixed to gondolas and support posts throughout the store, Helms said.