With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, OSHA is reminding retail employers of steps to take to prevent employee injuries due to large crowds during Black Friday and other sales events. OSHA hasreissued its"Crowd Management Safety Tips for Retailers," which provides guidance to employers to help prevent injuries during thecoming months. OSHArecommendsthat employers establish a system for crowd management that includes the following main elements:
- Planning.Create adetailed staffing plan and train employees in the plan and its implementation. Emergency response should be considered and appropriateindividualswithin the organizationdesignated for any emergency response effort.
- Pre-Event Setup. Set up barricades or rope lines to control crowds and have employees keep in communication by radios or other means. Designate employeesto communicate with shoppers and others and to explain safety precuations taken.Consider implementing other crowd management techniques, such as numbered ticketsor wristbands.
- During the Sales Event. Ensure that employeesknow when the doors are about to open. Whenthe maximum occupancy is reached, prohibit additional customers from entering. Place uniformed guards at entrances, if necessary.
- Emergency Situations. Donot block or lock any exit doors and employees should be told tolisten tofirst responders. First aid kits and AEDs should beavailable.
There is no OSHAstandardregulatingcrowd management. But employers are encouraged totake note of OSHA’s guidance and ensure their safety and health systems consider potential hazardsduring the holiday shopping season.