Black Friday craziness can be fun — until someone gets hurt.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual reminder to retailers to take steps to prevent deal-seeking mobs from injuring employees and each other.
As the government’s announcement noted, this is serious stuff:
“In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed through the doors of a large store to take advantage of an after-Thanksgiving Day Black Friday sales event. OSHA recommends that retailers follow certain safeguards against this type of tragedy.”
The labor department’s recommendations for good crowd management plans call for:
- On-site trained security personnel or police officers.
- Barricades or rope lines for pedestrians that do not start right in front of the store’s entrance.
- Implementing crowd control measures well in advance of customers arriving at the store.
- Emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers.
- Explaining approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public.
- Not allowing additional customers to enter the store when it reaches its maximum occupancy level.
- Not blocking or locking exit doors.
To find information on safety measures, check here.
A number of retailers have been instituting crowd management systems in recent years that can range from handing out tickets to customers in line, so people know that there are enough discounted flat-screen TVs for them, as well as staggering the times when certain deals are offered so that those interested in toys aren’t in the same line as customers waiting for the deals on clothes.