Crowd Management Stressed for Holidays
OSHA is encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent worker injuries at major sales events during the holiday season.
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 sale. The store was not using the kind of crowd management measures recommended on OSHA’s fact sheet for retailers.
The fact sheet recommends that employers:
- Have trained security personnel or police officers on-site
- Set up barricades or rope lines for pedestrians and crowd control well in advance of customers’ arrival
- Make sure that barricades are set up so that the customers’ line does not start right at the entrance of the store
- Have emergency procedures in place that address potential dangers
- Have security personnel or customer service representatives explain approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public
The fact sheet also suggests not allowing additional customers to enter the store when it reaches maximum occupancy level and not blocking or locking exit doors.
Crowd control is critical to preventing injuries and death, says OSHA. These incidents can be prevented by adopting a crowd management plan and following the fact sheet’s guidelines.
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