At first, it needs to be clarified that the business entity that was selected for the following analysis is PetSmart. An overview of the health and safety procedures of PetSmart in relation to its workers will be presented here. Moreover, its central and unique points, as well as significant aspects, will also be summarized. Experts note that “the procedures provide systematic steps for complying and performing tasks in compliance with company policies, HSE management system…” (Why do you need, n.d., para. 2). Then recommendations will be made with two more appropriate health and safety measures for PetSmart.
According to official PetSmart data, they are “the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets” (About PetSmart, 2021, para. 1). The organization has its stores throughout the North American region and Costa Rico (About PetSmart, 2021). It is also noteworthy that “The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption” (About PetSmart, 2021, para. 2). PetSmart actively promotes pet adoption and partners with multiple pet adoption agencies (About PetSmart, 2021). Employees frequently interact with both customers and various types of living species in the workplace. The work environment poses an additional danger to their health and safety, so the organization considers them one of their top priorities.
Summary of PetSmart’s Health and Safety Procedures
PetSmart’s health and safety policies and procedures are very similar to those of others in their and other industries. Safety programs take into account both the needs of workers and pets. PetSmart claims that they have “implemented safety programs to keep people and pets safe in our workplaces” (PetSmart, 2019, p. 20). Each of the employees receives safety training and instructions. It is also noteworthy that workers have a responsibility to be active participants in the company’s health and safety policy; the effort required depends on their status and role in the workplace (PetSmart, 2019). Moreover, the organization provides traditional and digital services to its employees to report any potential and actual threats to employee health and a safe work environment.
As with all legal business entities around the world, PetSmart prohibits and strongly condemns the use of violence in the workplace. They claim that “violence, threats of violence and intimidation are not allowed in our workplace” (Petsmart, 2019, p. 20). According to the organization’s rules, each employee who has experienced physical harm must report this incident to the management through Speak Up resources (PetSmart, 2019). The same applies to cases of threats of bodily injury and intimidation. It is also necessary to mention that the organization prohibits carrying any type of weapon at all of its locations (PetSmart, 2019). Security personnel is the only category of employees in PetSmart who are allowed to carry and use weapons.
PetSmart has strict rules regarding the use of alcohol and drugs by its employees. The organization’s health and safety policy state that its employees “must never work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescribed medication if it impairs the ability to work safely” (PetSmart, 2019, p. 20). Like in any other legal business entity, possession of illicit drugs and any operations with them is also prohibited in all company workplaces (PetSmart, 2019). PetSmart employees can consume alcohol only during company events and if local management permits it. This measure is also standard in other businesses, and many health and safety policies include it.
The privacy of employees’ data is a significant element of any organization’s health and safety policy, and PetSmart is no exception. Their leakage poses a threat to workers’ lives, their well-being, and their relatives. The company allows its employees to read and work with the personal data of other workers only for work purposes and while “fulfilling legitimate business duties for PetSmart” (PetSmart, 2019, p. 21). When interacting with personal information, employees are expected to comply with all contextual safety policies and follow all necessary procedures to maintain their confidentiality (PetSmart, 2019). The organization stipulates that employees must report to their management and the department that handles personal information about all possible and actual cases of theft and loss of employee data (PetSmart, 2019).
It is no secret that the environment and the health of employees are related. PetSmart also acknowledges this and makes efforts to preserve the natural state of things in the environment (PetSmart, 2019). The organization is constantly developing new practices to reduce the human impact on nature near its facilities (PetSmart, 2019). The organization follows all mandatory government environmental regulations that apply within the United States (US) (PetSmart, 2019). As noted previously, PetSmart also operates in Canada and Costa Rico. There they also comply with all the necessary environmental rules and standards established by local governments.
Summary of PetSmart’s Health and Safety Procedures, COVID-19 Context
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses, including PetSmart, to develop and implement additional health and safety procedures to secure the lives and well-being of their workers. Some of them also should be described in this summary. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, store hours schedules have begun to follow local regulations to reduce infection rates and new cases in the workplace (COVID-19 update, 2021). Facemasks have served well in preventing the spread of a new disease, so face covering has become another mandatory new safety practice in all stores to protect both employees and customers (COVID-19 update, 2021). It is also noteworthy that cleanings became more frequent to provide a safer work environment. When the pandemic came to the US, PetSmart introduced “more frequent cleaning protocols with enhanced products that are EPA-approved for use” (COVID-19 update, 2021, para. 7).
When the pandemic began, the practice of social distancing penetrated all areas of human activity, including business. Like many other entities, PetSmart took a comprehensive approach to build the infrastructure to support this public safety practice. The organization put physical barriers and signage in its stores and other locations to ensure social distancing (COVID-19 update, 2021, para. 7). Moreover, the management introduced regular announcements to remind employees and customers of safety practices. As one can see, PetSmart put significant financial and human resources into building a safe environment for its workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
PetSmart has also implemented a broad compensation policy so that workers can protect their health without high financial costs. The company offers “special thank-you bonuses, payment of healthcare premiums, and other healthcare benefits” for all employees who interact face-to-face with customers and their pets (COVID-19 update, 2021, para. 11). The organization is also offering one hundred US dollars in compensation for the employees’ money spent on getting the vaccine (COVID-19 update, 2021). The overall picture of the measures taken shows that PetSmart truly cares about its employees’ health and safety. However, its health and safety procedures still need some additions. Some of the practices are even potentially harmful to workers and need to be deleted.
Health and Safety Policies to Add
One can safely say that this COVID-19 crisis has become a time of hardships for most people, and PetSmart employees are no exception. It is obvious that people have become more worried about their health and the physical well-being of their family members and relatives. Mental breakdowns and physical exhaustion have become frequent conditions over the past two years. Psychological support provided by the employer can help PetSmart workers avoid many disorders and illnesses. I think that the company’s management should collaborate with local mental health organizations to provide PetSmart employees with the necessary services. Both in-person and online counseling will enable associates to maintain their mental health (Rawe, n.d.).
The previous slides described in detail PetSmart’s compensation policy. It is a great management move that shows that the employers do care about the staff. However, recent news reports indicate that PetSmart does not provide paid sick leave to its employees (Coleman-Lochner & Ronalds-Hannon, 2021). In my opinion, PetSmart should give support to all employees who have suffered from COVID-19, especially the most hurt ones. Paid sick leaves should be provided to all associates at least until the coronavirus is over. I believe that PetSmart should start a gradual implementation, starting with in-store and frontline workers.
Current PetSmart’s Health and Safety Procedures to Delete
I believe that PetSmart should exclude the ban on working under the effects of drugs containing alcohol from their health and safety procedures. Most drugs whose composition includes this substance allow one to significantly alleviate many conditions’ moderate and severe symptoms (Chandrasekaran & Venkatesh, 2018). Frequent interactions with animals eventually lead to infections and injuries of varying severity. Even the smallest of them require a quick response and medication. Simply put, these drugs enable one to quickly heal a wound or infection and continue to work productively. This current ban endangers the lives of PetSmart employees and prevents them from effectively contributing to the work process.
Another practice that, in my opinion, should be removed from PetSmart’s current health and safety procedures are regular social distancing announcements in stores. Constant reminders only reinforce employees’ thoughts about the ongoing pandemic and, consequently, undermine their mental well-being. The researchers argue that depression, anxiety, fear, and stress rates in humans rose significantly when the pandemic hit (Rodriguez-Hidalgo, 2020). I believe that physical barriers and signs are sufficient for both buyers and employees to comply with the public policy of social distancing. Constant announcements only make the work environment a more depressing place.
An overview of the PetSmart health and safety procedures was presented here. Its strong points and weaknesses have been described and analyzed scrupulously here. The company is a giant in the pet industry in North America. The analysis showed that safety procedures that should be excluded are a ban on working under the effect of drugs with alcohol and regular advertisements of social distancing in stores. Two recommendations include providing peer access to mental health professionals and paid sick leaves. The overall verdict is that the health and safety policy of PetSmart covers the basic health needs of its employees and even more in some of its aspects. However, the lack of paid sick leave and psychological support can significantly exacerbate the current state of affairs in PetSmart personnel. As noted above in this work, rapid and targeted improvements are needed to enable the company to escape from the current global crisis in good shape.
About PetSmart. (2021). PetSmart. Web.
Chandrasekaran, V., & Venkatesh, S. (2018). Rapid response to: The case for calling alcohol a drug. The BMJ. Web.
Coleman-Lochner, L., & Ronalds-Hannon, E. (2021). PetSmart investors prodded by labor group over worker safety. Bloomberg. Web.
COVID-19 update: You and your pet’s health are our number one priority. (2021). PetSmart. Web.
PetSmart. (2019). Being the trusted partner. Code of ethics & integrity. PetSmart. Web.
Rawe, J. (n.d.). Workplace mental health: 5 ways to support employee wellness. Understood. Web.
Why do you need health and safety procedures in the workplace? (n.d.). AlertForce. Web.