With the big turkey holiday fast approaching last week OSHA released guidelines on preventing retail worker injuries from large crowds (PDF).
Among some of the more intersting points:
- Designate an employee to contact local emergency responders if necessary.
- 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.
- Locate shopping carts and other potential obstacles or projectiles inside the store and away from the entrance, not in the parking lot.
- When the store reaches maximum occupancy, do not allow additional customers to enter until the occupancy level drops.
- Instruct employees, in the event of an emergency, to follow instructions from authorized first responders, regardless of company rules.
I’m not sure if we as a society should be laughing or crying at these standards. Yes OSHA is mandated to protect worker safety, and yes last year with Black Friday specials got out of hand in many circumstances.
Many of the retail employees manning their statioins are going to be seasonal workers. It would be a pretty safe assumption that safety related training is probably not on the top of the list of priorties for these companies.
One has to wonder though if they know how to find a chemical’s MSDS information when needed?