Keep Black Friday Trample-Free

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Retailers don’t let your employees get trampled on Black Friday is the message from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA is encouraging retail employers to implement safety measures to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday.

Black Friday SafetyTragic consequences and risk to workers can occur if the proper safety procedures handling raging Black Friday shoppers are ignored. On Black Friday in 2008, a retail worker was trampled to death when shoppers rushed through the store.

“During the hectic shopping season, retail workers should not be put at risk of injury or death,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees.”

Black Friday Safety Letter

OSHA sent letters to major retailers to remind employers about the potential hazards involved with managing large crowds at retail stores during the holiday season when sales events attract a higher number of shoppers.

Retailers are encouraged to use the Black Friday safety guidelines, Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers, provided in the OSHA fact sheet they received.

Black Friday and Holiday sales crowd management plans should, at least, include:

  • 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.
  • The implementation of crowd control measures well in advance of customers arriving at the store.
  • Emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers.
  • Methods for 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.

The letter sent to major retailers, retail associations and fire associations can be viewed at

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information


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