With the latest OSHA guidelines formally released, labor officials have laid the groundwork for holiday shopping safety — offering advice to retail CEOs on how they can help keep their workers safe during Black Friday and the extended Black Friday sales and ensuing holiday rush. While retailers have been planning for this event since before Summer 2014, now is the time to review final plans for handling the crowds, do practice runs and take stock. Paramount to crowd control, the OSHA guidelines call for stores to set up barricades or barriers like the Tensabarrier® to handle crowds, and to make sure they are arranged in a fashion that winds around enough times to effectively slow down a mob.
Other critical advice offered to retailers:
- Warn employees when the doors are opening
- Have security guards stand away from the open doorway where the people will be rushing in, positioned to the sides of entering (or exiting) public, not in the center of their path
- Prevent overcrowding in any one area of the store by positioning sales items throughout the store rather than in one concentrated area
- Consider using mechanisms such as tickets to provide the earlier arriving customers with first access to sale items.
- Have adequate signage showing the location of entrances and exits, store opening times and location of special sales items within the store
- When the store reaches maximum occupancy, don’t allow additional customers to enter until the occupancy level drops
According to David Michaels, assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Labor, with thoughtful planning and implementation of an effective crowd management action plan and maintaining emergency exits free of obstructions, we all can have a safe and happy holiday season.
Please contact our Tensator customer journey experts if you have any last minute needs, or for answers to any of your Black Friday questions or challenges. We are here to help make sure you keep everyone safe.