A According to the Health & Safety Executive there were six fatalities in the retail and wholesale trade in 2006-2007 - 10 fewer than were recorded in the previous year.
Encouragingly, the number of reported major injuries was also down, 177 to 3,603 incidents. Major factors were slipping or tripping ( blamed for 38 per cent of cases) and lifting or carrying (22 per cent). Fourteen per cent of major injuries were caused by a moving or falling object.
The number of working days lost every year due to workplace-related illness or injury stood at 1.1 per worker in retailing and wholesaling - less than the UK average of 1.3 days.
Retail work, for all its hazards of armed robbers, falling boxes and slippery floors, remains a far safer occupation than farming, building, teaching and social work.