Retail stores must protect workers from dangerous overcrowding during holiday sales events

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA is encouraging retailers to take precautions to prevent worker injuries
during major sales events this holiday season. In 2008, in USA a worker was
trampled to death during a Black Friday event when a mob of shoppers rushed
through the doors of a large store to take advantage of the sale.

Crowd-related injuries during special retail sales and promotional events have
increased during recent years. "Many of these incidents can be prevented by
adopting a crowd management plan, and this fact sheet provides retail employers
with guidelines for avoiding injuries during the holiday shopping season.

For example:

  • Where large crowds are expected, have trained security or crowd management personnel or police officers on site.

  • Create a detailed staffing plan that designates a location for each worker. Based on the size of the crowd expected, determine the number of workers that are needed in various locations to ensure the safety of the event (e.g., near the door entrance and throughout the store).

  • Ensure that workers are properly trained to manage the event.

  • Contact local fire and police agencies to determine if the event site meets all public safety requirements, and ensure that all permits and licenses are obtained and that local emergency services, including the local police, fire department and hospital, are aware of the event.

  • Designate a worker to contact local emergency responders if necessary.

  • Provide legible and visible signs that describe entrance locations, store opening times, and other important information such as the location of majorsale items.

  • Prepare an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers facing workers, including overcrowding, crowd crushing, being struck by the crowd, violent acts and fire. Share emergency plan with all local public safety agencies.

  • Train workers in crowd management procedures and the emergency plan. Provide them with an opportunity to practice the special event plan. Include local public safety agencies if appropriate.

More info - Source: U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration