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Kyle Morrison's blog

A blog by Safety+Health Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison


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Black Friday precautions

November 27, 2013

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It’s that time of the year again. Time for turkey, holiday music and a mad rush through stores for midnight sales. Is your store prepared for Black Friday?

Following the death of a worker caused by a stampede of consumers hunting for deals at a post-Thanksgiving sale five years ago, OSHA has put together crowd management safety guidelines for retailers in a fact sheet.

The guidelines are meant to help employers and employees avoid injuries that could occur during the holiday shopping season. Here are a few tips from the fact sheet:

  • Hire additional staff – including trained security or crowd management personnel – when large crowds are expected.
  • Prepare an emergency plan addressing hazards workers may face, including overcrowding, crowd crushing or violent acts.
  • Use barricades for crowd management.
  • Make use of a PA system or bullhorns to manage the crowd and to make announcements.
  • Restrict additional customers from entering the store once the inside reaches maximum occupancy.

Check out OSHA’s fact sheet for tips to help ensure this year’s shopping season is a safe one for employees and customers.

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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