Is OSHA Optimistic About the Economy? Agency Warns Stores to Protect Workers from Holiday Crowds

Is OSHA Optimistic About the Economy? Agency Warns Stores to Protect Workers from Holiday Crowds

It’s nice when something positive comes out of Washington, and it appears that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor) is backhandedly doing just that.

This week, in a national news release, OSHA announced its concern that massive amounts of consumer shopping might endanger retail workers in the work place, and the agency is “encouraging” 14 major national retail companies to plan now, implementing precautionary measures to insure the safety of their retail workers during the holiday season. (Black Friday taking on a particular spotlight here.)

In fact, OSHA sent a letter with a fact sheet on “Crowd Management Safety Tips for Retailers” to the heads of these big store chains. Crowd control? Wow, that sounds like a good retail gift-buying frenzy of sorts. Just what our economy needs, right?

“Crowd-related injuries during special retail sales and promotional events have increased during recent years,” reports Assistant Secretary for OSHA Dr. David Michaels in the news release. “Many of 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.”

So, what does OSHA suggest as preparation? Its fact sheet suggests such things as: (1) trained security personnel or police officers on-site; (2) setting up barricades or rope lines for pedestrians and crowd control well in advance of customers arriving at the store; (3) having in place emergency procedures that address potential dangers; and (4) monitoring the number of customers in the store, and stopping folk from entering when maximum occupancy is reached.

Want to see what the CEOs received from OSHA? Read it here.

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Only 50 shopping days till Christmas!

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