Managing High-Risk Maintenance Work in Retail Stores: A Comprehensive Approach


There are numerous challenges and risks associated with maintenance activities in retail environments. Your contractors visiting your sites may have never been to a certain site and lack awareness of the key safety risks that exist in the store.  Additionally, your contractors may visit your stores outside of the main trading times and there may not be someone on site to assist in providing a safety briefing before work commences.

Understanding High-Risk Maintenance Tasks

Identification of maintenance tasks that pose a high risk to employee safety, store operations, and customer experience is essential, and an analysis of common hazards and risks associated with high-risk maintenance work in retail stores needs to be conducted. By conducting comprehensive risk assessments to identify potential hazards and assess their likelihood and severity.

Implementing risk mitigation strategies, including hierarchy of controls such as elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

It is essential that your stores teams have Safety Training and Certification to allow them to understand and work with your high-risk contractors who visit your sites, this includes providing specialised training for employees who may approve work on high-risk maintenance tasks, including equipment operation, hazard recognition, emergency procedures, and safe work practices.

Work Permit Systems

Establishing a permit-to-work system to control and authorise high-risk maintenance activities is essential to minimising risks. Implementing procedures for obtaining permits, conducting risk assessments, and ensuring appropriate safety measures are in place before work begins.

The common high-risk tasks in a retail store are as follows;

Hot works

Working from heights

Electrical works

Gas works

Impairment of fire services

Brick/concrete cutting

Asbestos/hazardous materials

Confined space work

Flammable refrigerant

Ceiling space works

Each of these works has a series of work permit questions that need to be reviewed and acknowledged before any work is to commence.

Contractor Management

Establishing stringent requirements for contractors performing high-risk maintenance work, including certification, training, insurance, and safety protocol checks is critical to avoiding incidents and injuries.

Conducting thorough pre-qualification assessments before the contractor arrives in the store and having the ability to check these credentials digitally is preferable as most contractors do not carry around all documentation required.

Emergency Preparedness

Developing comprehensive emergency response plans specific to high-risk maintenance activities.

Conducting drills and simulations to ensure employees are prepared to respond effectively to emergencies.

Continuous Improvement and Review

Implementing a process for reviewing and evaluating high-risk maintenance activities to identify opportunities for improvement.

Reviewing all incidents across your business and determining the cause and effect will assist in improving the permit-to-work process within your stores.

Encouraging feedback from employees and contractors to identify potential hazards and areas for enhancement.

Compliance with Regulations and Standards

Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, standards, and industry best practices governing high-risk maintenance work.

Staying abreast of updates and changes to regulations to ensure ongoing compliance.

Case Studies and Best Practices

Sharing real-world examples of retailers successfully managing high-risk maintenance work.

Highlighting best practices and lessons learned from industry leaders.


Summarising key strategies for effectively managing high-risk maintenance work in retail stores. Emphasising the importance of prioritising safety and compliance in all maintenance activities.


Citations and resources for further reading on managing high-risk maintenance work in retail environments.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this white paper, retailers can effectively manage high-risk maintenance work, minimise accidents and incidents, and ensure the safety of employees, customers, and store assets.

About Site360

Site360 supports multi-site retailers across numerous countries to successfully manage contractors across their store networks. Site360 is a platform that retailers can use to manage their contractors effectively providing several features to streamline the contractor management process.

Contractor Onboarding: Site360 helps retailers onboard their contractors efficiently by digitising the process. This includes collecting necessary documentation, verifying qualifications, and setting up contractor profiles within the contractor onboarding platform.

Site360 provides a site management platform that replaces the manual sign-in book which includes communication tools to facilitate seamless interactions between retailers and contractors. This includes site safety alerts, condition of store entry, and notifications.

Retailers can track the progress of projects in real time using Site360. They can monitor contractor activity, track contractor work hours, and receive updates on job completion status. The platform helps retailers ensure contractors comply with relevant regulations and safety standards.

Site360 provides a solid return to any retailer. Let us share our experiences with you when you are considering a change.

Contact our team in the UK:

Paran Atwal +44 7769 883800 

Roy Cooper +44 7881 915503   

In Australia:

David Evans +61 405 805 523  

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