With Black Friday on the horizon for major retailers across the nation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging stores to ensure the safety of their employees and customers during the insanity of Black Friday sales.
As the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday has become synonymous with injuries due to the heightened excitement of customers that may violently shove through packed crowds to snag sale items for the holiday season. However, the enthusiasm of some can come at a cost to others, such as one worker in 2008 who was trampled to death by overeager consumers rushing through the store.
“During the hectic shopping season, retail workers should not be put at risk of injury or death,” says David Michaels, assistant labor secretary. “OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees.”
In order to help protect the employees of major retailers with Black Friday sales, OSHA has set aside some guidelines for employers to follow to keep them safe inside the workplace. OSHA’s safety strategies include having on-site security guards in place, erecting store barricades to guide how customers enter the store, and setting limits on how many customers may enter the store at a time. Lastly, OSHA advises employers create an emergency evacuation plan in case the unexpected happens.
OSHA’s safety plans may also be used for other massive sale events, other than just Black Friday. When there are customer and employee lives at stake, OSHA believes retailers should always take the safest route while handling sale events.
“With thoughtful planning and implementation of an effective crowd management action plan and maintaining emergency exits free of obstructions, we all can have a safe and happy holiday season,” Michaels said.