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Keeping workers safe on ‘Black Friday’

November 16, 2012

With a week until one of the busiest shopping days of the season, retailers need to take precautions to ensure their workers’ safety during the influx of customers hunting for deals.

Four years ago, a worker was trampled to death as a horde of bargain-seeking shoppers rushed through the just-opened doors of a retail store on the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as “Black Friday.”

“Crowd control and proper planning are critical to preventing injuries and deaths,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a recent statement.

OSHA has suggested crowd control safety measures, including:

  • Have trained personnel or police officers on-site.
  • Ensure barricade or rope lines do not start in front of the store’s entrance.
  • Explain entrance procedures to arriving customers.
  • Do not allow more customers into the store than allowed by its maximum occupancy level.
  • Implement crowd-control measures before customers arrive at the store.

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

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