7 Tips to Make Black Friday Safer

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Black Friday Sale Crowds

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman, of Jon L Gelman LLC, a law firm in New Jersey. Although this post originally ran last year, I think the lessons and reminders for employers are still very much current and also a good read for employees to be as safe as possible. Here is OSHA’s news release about “Crowd management measures are critical during major sales events; US Labor Department’s OSHA sends reminder to retail associations.” The news release also has a link to the fact sheet mentioned in the blog post below.

Although I realize the importance of getting a good deal, please also remember that workers in retail are people, too, and deserve to be treated the way you wish to be treated. Because many of these workers are working temporary jobs for the season, please practice some patience, understanding and good will towards both fellow shoppers and those working during the hectic holiday season. A simple smile can often make a person’s day. Best wishes on getting that good deal or special gift!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent worker injuries during Black Friday and other major sales events during the holiday season.

In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed through the doors of a large store to take advantage of an after-Thanksgiving Day Black Friday sales event. OSHA recommends that retailers follow certain safeguards against this type of tragedy.

“Crowd control and proper planning are critical to preventing injuries and deaths,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA urges retailers to adopt a crowd management plan during the holiday shopping season that includes a few simple guidelines.”

Crowd management plans should include:

  1. On-site trained security personnel or police officers.
  2. Barricades or rope lines for pedestrians that do not start right in front of the store’s entrance.
  3. Implementing crowd control measures well in advance of customers arriving at the store.
  4. Emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers.
  5. Explaining approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public.
  6. Not allowing additional customers to enter the store when it reaches its maximum occupancy level.
  7. Not blocking or locking exit doors.

A fact sheet outlining these and other safety measures is available athttps://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/Crowd_Control.html. A letter that OSHA has sent to major retailers about preventing crowd-related injuries can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/asst-sec/blackfriday_letter_2012.html.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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