Audio Transcript

Crowd Management: Protecting Retail Workers During Major Sales Events
Actualities by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels

Introduction: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging major retail employers to take precautions to prevent worker injuries during Black Friday and other major sale events during the holiday season. The following comments are from OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels:

Question: Dr. Michaels, why is OSHA reaching out to retailers?

Response from Dr. Michaels: "This time of year, it's important for retail employers to remember that large crowds can be dangerous to their employees. Rushing, overcrowding, and other hazards can turn a holiday sale into a nightmare. OSHA wants to make sure that holiday 'door busters' aren't busting workers. For advice and guidelines on crowd management, visit www.osha.gov."

Question: Dr. Michaels, what kind of advice do you have for retail employers to keep their workers safe during the holidays?

Response from Dr. Michaels: "Retailers planning large sales this holiday season should have trained security or crowd control personnel on site when crowds are expected. They should have barricades or rope lines for pedestrians and crowd control well in advance of customers arriving at the store. They should make sure barricades are positioned so a customer line does not start right at the entrance of the store. They should have emergency procedures in place that address potential dangers and have security personnel or customer service representatives explain entrance procedures to the arriving public."