Monday, November 21, 2011

OSHA warns retailers to get ready for Black Friday

With retailers days away from the biggest shopping day of the year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding stores to take steps to ensure no one gets hurt in the rush for bargains.

The stakes for retail workers are high. In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was killed after being trampled, when a surging crowd broke through the door and stormed the store in search of bargains.

The latest OSHA guidelines, released late last week, include a lot of common-sense steps, such as "Set up barricades or rope lines for crowd management well in advance of customers arriving at the store" and "Make sure that all employees and crowd control personnel are aware that the doors are about to open."

But other bullet points make the danger clear. Stores are advised to "Position security or crowd managers to the sides of entering (or exiting) public, not in the center of their path" - a way to avoid potential trampling incidents. Retailers should also "Keep first-aid kits and Automated External Defibrillators" on-hand, to treat any injuries or cardiac incidents that occur. 

"Locate shopping carts and other potential obstacles or projectiles inside the store and away from the entrance, not in the parking lot," OSHA advises. And "Ensure that barricade lines have an adequate number of breaks and turns at regular intervals to reduce the risk of customers pushing from the rear and possibly crushing others, including workers."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

One would think that after several years of the public showing their idiot side, this crap would stop. I for one won't go to these things because of it. My sister works for at one of these stores. The stories she tells, no wonder 90% of the employees are on Prozac! When I go there, if the public is acting like idiots, I'll call them out on it. Like one day I was in there and these 2 teenage kids were throwing a beach ball over the shelves to each other. I reminded them it was a place of business not a play ground. Next thing I knew, Grandma was gertting on my case about saying something to them. I told her that if they had any raising at home, a stranger would not have to tell them how to act in public. She said she was going to call the manager, but I had already beaten her to the punch. When the manager came over, I told her what was said, and I followed it up with..."I said what you guys want to say but can't!" Grandma and boys left.

Anonymous said...

blah..who cares. Your sister is on prozac because she has to deal with you.

Cletus from Concord said...

The stores bring this upon themselves by only offering a few items at the "doorbuster" price. I have little sympathy for them encouraging the kray-kray and even less for the sheeple who participate.

Anonymous said...

Black Friday, Black Friday, Black Friday, blah blah blah.

Don't you have anything else to write about? Do you dream about Black Friday when you sleep, or can't you sleep for just thinking about it?

I'll be glad when you get this out of your system.

Ely Portillo said...

Yes, anonymous, you hit the nail on the head: These blog posts about Black Friday are my way of cleansing my system of the all-consuming fascination with Black Friday that keeps me up at night. Someday soon, as soon as Saturday, it will be over, and we can all sleep again.

Anonymous said...

Last year on the black Friday, I personally witnessed two assaults over a TV, and also watched in amazement as a woman was pushed to the floor and stepped on by a mob trying to get DVD movies out of a bin at Wal-Mart. The store employees only made things worse by hyping up the final minutes. There were so many people in the store at midnight, you could barely move. Sounds like more than an OSHA hazard to me. I would love it if they shut the whole place down.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor is an asst. mgr. at Wal-Mart on Eastway. He said they weren't sure if they would be allowed to open that location at midnight due to customers drinking and doing drugs. He did say that most of them carry mace/tear gas spray in case the customers over there get out of hand. Guess that's a sign to stay at home?

Anonymous said...

Walmart workers with tear gas to use on the black friday folks. Sounds like quite a show over on Eastway!

NCdirtdigger said...

Do they sell tickets to watch that display at Eastway? Down a few Colt 45's and have a show!

Mr Lonely said...

nice blog.. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

Regards,
http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..