HR Management & Compliance

Are Your Workers Trained to Handle Large Crowds?

In 2008, a retail worker was trampled to death when shoppers rushed through a store on Black Friday to take advantage of holiday discounts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is encouraging retail employers to implement safety measures to prevent such incidents. The agency has sent letters to major retailers to remind them about the potential hazards involved with managing large crowds.
Commented OSHA administrator David Michaels, PhD, “OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees.”
According to OSHA, crowd management planning should begin in advance of events that are likely to draw large numbers of people. The agency recommends a two-part plan:

  1. Planning
  2. Pre-event setup

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Step one: Planning

  • Hire additional staff as needed and have trained security or crowd management personnel or police officers on-site.
  • Create a detailed staffing plan.
  • Make sure workers are properly trained to manage the event.
  • Contact local emergency response agencies to ensure that the site meets all public safety requirements.
  • Designate an employee to contact emergency responders as necessary.
  • Provide signs that describe entrance and exit locations, opening times, and other important information.
  • Prepare an emergency plan that addresses dangers facing workers, such as overcrowding, crowd crushing, being struck by the crowd, violent acts, and fire.
  • Train workers in crowd-management procedures and the emergency plan.

Effective 7-minute sessions provide comprehensive safety training at an average cost of $1 a day. Get the details.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll get OSHA’s recommendations for pre-event setup.

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