Crowd Safety Tips for the Holidays

Crowded stores, major shopping events, and new product releases are just a few of the activities that see an uptick this time of year and draw large numbers of people. Unfortunately, these events can cause an increased number of hazards for wholesale and retail industry workers. Careful planning and thoughtful implementation help these events go smoothly and without incident.

Crowd Control

  • On weekends and during special events, store owners should hire additional staff as needed, including security or crowd management personnel 
  • Provide highly visible signs that describe entrance and exits locations, store opening times, and other key information
  • Designate a supervisor to make key decisions during an event
  • Appoint a worker to contact local emergency responders, if necessary
  • Prepare an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers including over-crowding, crowd pushing, accidents, medical emergencies, fire, and violent acts
  • Train workers ahead of time in crowd management procedures and allow them to practice

Entrances and Exits

  • Provide a separate entrance for staff and post a door monitor there to prevent crowd entry
  • Set up barricades or rope lines for crowd management well in advance of customers arriving
  • When setting up the barricade, ensure that the line doesn’t start right at the store entrance
  • Provide outside personnel with radios/communication devices, hi-vis clothing, and ensure they’re dressed for the weather
  • Shortly before opening, remind waiting crowds of the entrance process
  • If a store comes to maximum occupancy, don’t allow additional people to enter until the occupancy level drops
  • Provide a safe entrance for people with disabilities

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