following is a press release by OSHA on 11/17/09 regarding steps that retailers
should be taking for Black Friday. Below it is a copy of the fact
that they have produced.
that provided me with information and contacts. Ed Comeau
- 11/17/2009 - US Department of Labor's OSHA provides crowd control guidelines
for protecting workers during retail sales events
Nov. 17, 2009
Contact: Diana Petterson
Department of Labor's OSHA provides crowd control guidelines for protecting
workers during retail sales events
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) has prepared a fact
sheet providing crowd control guidelines for retailers to protect workers
during major sales events.
Last year 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 Day "Black Friday" sales event. The
store was not using the kind of crowd control measures recommended in OSHA's
"Crowd-related injuries during special
retail sales and promotional events have increased during recent years,"
said acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Many of these incidents
could be prevented, and this fact sheet provides retail employers with
guidelines for avoiding injuries during the holiday shopping season."
The fact sheet provides employers with
recommended elements for crowd control plans. Plans should include having
trained security personnel or police officers on site, setting up barricades
or rope lines for pedestrians and crowd control well in advance of customers
arriving at the store, making sure that barricades are set up so that the
customers' line does not start right at the entrance of the store, preparing
an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers, and having security
personnel or customer service representatives explain approach and entrance
procedures to the arriving public.
OSHA also recommends not allowing additional
customers to enter the store when it reaches its maximum occupancy level
and not blocking or locking exit doors.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health
Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions
for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing
training, outreach and education. For more information, visithttp://www.osha.gov.
Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.
The information in this news release will be made available in alternate
format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) upon request from the
COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request
at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed
to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable
information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information,
please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
Control Safety Tips For Retailers
injuries during special retail sales and promotional events have increased
during recent years. Last year a worker died at the opening of a "Black
the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible
for providing their workers with safe and healthy workplaces. The Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages employers to adopt effective
safety and health management systems to identify and eliminate work-related
hazards, including those caused by large crowds at retail sales events.
has prepared these guidelines to help employers and store owners avoid
injuries during the holiday shopping season, or other events where large
crowds may gather. Ideally, crowd control planning should begin days, weeks
or even months before events that are likely to draw large crowds, and
crowd control, pre-event setup, and emergency situation management should
be part of event planning. OSHA recommends that employers planning a large
shopping event adopt a plan that includes the following elements.
Where large crowds are
expected, have trained security or crowd management personnel or police
officers on site.
Create a detailed staffing
plan that designates a location for each employee. Based on the size of
the crowd expected, determine the number of employees that are needed in
various locations to ensure the safety of the event (e.g. near the door
entrance and throughout the store).
Ensure that employees
are properly trained to manage the event.
Contact local fire and
police agencies to determine if the event site meets all public safety
requirements, and ensure that all permits and licenses are obtained and
that local emergency services, including the local police, fire department,
and hospital, are aware of the event. Designate an employee to contact
local emergency responders if necessary.
Provide legible and
visible signs that describe entrance locations, store opening times, and
other important information such as the location of major sale items.
Prepare an emergency
plan that addresses potential dangers facing employees, including overcrowding,
crowd crushing, being struck by the crowd, violent acts and fire. Share
emergency plan with all local public safety agencies.
Train employees in crowd
control procedures and the emergency plan. Provide them with an opportunity
to practice the special event plan. Include local public safety agencies
Set up barricades or
rope lines for crowd control well in advance of customers arriving at the
Make sure that barricades
are set up so that the customers line does not start right at the entrance
to the store. This will allow for orderly crowd control entry make it possible
to divide crowds into small groups for the purpose of controlling entrance.
Ensure that barricade
lines have an adequate number of breaks and turns at regular intervals
to reduce the risk of customers pushing from the rear and possibly crushing
others, including employees.
to explain approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public, and
direct them to lines or entrances.
Make sure outside personnel
have radios or some other way to communicate with personnel inside the
store and emergency responders.
Consider using mechanisms
such as numbered wristbands or tickets to provide the earlier-arriving
customers with first access to sale items.
Consider using internet
lottery for "hot" items.
Locate shopping carts
and other potential obstacles or projectiles inside the store and away
from the entrance, not in the parking lot.
If appropriate, provide
public amenities including toilets, washbasins, water and shelter.
information to customers waiting in line. Distribute pamphlets showing
the location of entrances, exits and location of special sales items within
Shortly before opening,
remind waiting crowds of the entrance process (i.e., limiting entry to
small groups, redemption of numbered tickets, etc.).
Make sure all employees
and crowd control personnel are aware that the doors are about to open.
Staff entrances with
uniformed guards, police or other authority personnel.
Use a public address
system or bullhorns to manage the entering crowd and to communicate information
Position security or
crowd managers to the sides of entering (or exiting) public, not in the
center of their path.
Provide crowd and entry
control measures at all entrances, including the ones not being used. If
possible, use more than one entrance.
When the store reaches
maximum occupancy, do not allow additional customers to enter until the
occupancy level drops.
Provide a safe entrance
for people with disabilities.
Do not restrict egress,
and do not block or lock exit doors.
Know in advance who
to call for emergency medical response.
Keep first aid kits
and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available, and have personnel
trained in using AEDs and CPR onsite.
in the event of an emergency, to follow instructions from first responders,
regardless of company rules.
Fact Sheet is advisory in nature and informational in content. It is not
a standard or regulation, and it neither creates new legal obligations
nor alters existing obligations created by OSHA standards or the Occupational
Safety and Health Act. Pursuant to the OSH Act, employers must comply with
safety and health standards and regulations issued and enforced either
by OSHA or by an OSHA-approved State Plan. In addition, the Act's General
Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees
with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or
serious physical harm. For compliance requirements of OSHA standards or
regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This
information will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon
request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999. See also OSHA's website at