Every year, Black Friday, the annual day-after Thanksgiving sales event, draws a record number of shoppers. In 2013, the National Retail Federation reported that 137 million shoppers participated in Black Friday. With the number of customers reaching record highs and prices at seasonal lows, employers should beware of the inevitable crowd management issues that Black Friday presents.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have a general duty to provide a safe workplace for employees. This duty includes maintaining a work environment that is free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. In recent years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made it clear to employers and retail store owners that crowd control preparation and precaution is necessary to avoid the obvious safety risk presented by the large crowds that are drawn by the holiday’s major sales event. Continue Reading