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Black Friday: Tips on How to Prevent Employee Injuries

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time when families come together for some shared quality time. It's a time when people can relax, watch a good football game, and eat great food. It seems that an equally important tradition is Black Friday, when shoppers wake up early the day after Thanksgiving and camp out for the special deals many retailers are having.

But with the craziness surrounding Black Friday, accidents can happen. Last year, a store employee was killed after being trampled by shoppers. This year, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging employers to take safety precautions to decrease the number of injured workers this Friday.

According to OSHA, the number of employee injuries due to special sales events has increased over the past few years. Though some retailers are not taking extra precautions, they are required to provide safe working conditions for their employers. This includes safety training, educating employees on safety standards, and then enforcing those standards.

Suggestions for a Safe Black Friday Sale

OSHA has recommended several ways to decrease the chances of work-related injuries this Friday during one of the busiest sales days of the year:

  • Keep security nearby in case of an emergency
  • Control the crowd: rope barricades help direct traffic
  • Ensure all employees know proper emergency procedures
  • Avoid exceeding the maximum occupancy of the store
  • Make sure that all exits and doors are clearly marked and free from obstacles

No matter how much preparation goes into a big sale like those on Black Friday, there will always be the potential for an accident to happen. But retailers can do a lot to decrease the chances of an employee injury or death during the holidays.

Source: OSHA.gov, "US Labor Department's OSHA encourages major retailers to provide crowd management measures to protect workers during Black Friday, other sales events," 03 November 2010

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Eley Law Firm
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