OSHA encourages retailers to prepare for holiday sales

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a statement urging large retailers across the country to take measures to prevent worker injuries on upcoming major holiday sales, including "Black Friday."

In 2008, one worker was trampled to death as a group of frenzied shoppers stormed the doors of a store during the Black Friday Thanksgiving sales event. After the incident, it was found that the store had not deployed proper crowd management measures recommended by OSHA's Crowd Management FactSheet.

"Crowd control is critical to preventing injuries and deaths," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "These incidents can be prevented by adopting a crowd management plan, and this fact sheet provides retail employers with guidelines for avoiding injuries during the holiday shopping season."

OSHA's crowd management safety guidelines include creating an emergency plan with trained security or crowd management personnel when a large sale is expected, providing visible signs for exits and entrances, using crowd control barricades, and having a first aid kit and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on hand.

Training workers to use AEDs and perform CPR, or employing emergency workers for the duration of the sales events are also recommended by the agency.  

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