Black Friday Crowds Increase Risks of Work Accidents in St. Louis

Black Friday Crowds Increase Risks of Work Accidents in St. Louis

The number of crowd-related injuries in St. Louis and elsewhere during big sale events has increased in past years. In fact, in 2008 an employee died during the opening of a store on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when most major retailers and other businesses offer big discounts. This year, theOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers employers some safety tips to help reduce the risks of accidents. With Black Friday right around the corner, OSHA is asking employers to start planning now to help keep everyone safe on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.


Our St. Louis injury attorneys remind employers that they are required to take the proper safety measures to eliminate hazards for workers. One of the most dangerous hazards during popular sales events such as Black Friday is crowds, especially when shoppers are camping out in front of your business for days.

Safety planning should start now. Create a plan to share with workers before the big day arrives. There should be a plan on how to manage crowds, how to best minimize dangers and what to do in the event of an accident. OSHA offers the following tips to help you plan.

Planning the event:

-Make sure you have the proper crowd-management personnel on site, including security guards or police officers.

-Map it out. Make sure employees are placed in a designated area.

-Discuss responsibilities for the big day with employees.

-Make sure employees receive training on how to properly manage large crowds of shoppers.

-Make sure that local authorities, including the fire department and EMS personnel, know that you’ll be hosting an event.

-Designate a worker to contact authorities in the event of an accident or an emergency.

-Map out your store. Place signs in appropriate areas notifying shoppers with the locations of restrooms, check-out counters, restrooms and “hot” sale items.

Before the event:

-Make sure you have barricades and rope lines in place to help organize large crowds and popular areas.

-Keep lines away store entrances.

-Make sure there are breaks in these lines so that customers can enter in intervals to help avoid overcrowding.

-Designate a worker to explain the procedures with customers, including locations of entrances, exits, check-out counters and popular sale items.

-Consider an online lottery, tickets or wristbands for big sale items to eliminate the rush.

-Make sure employees have an effective way to communicate with one another, such as walkie-talkies.

-Keep shopping carts and other bulky items out of walkways.

During your Black Friday sale:

-Notify all employees before opening store entrances.

-Make sure authorized personnel are located at each entrance.

-Use a PA system to communicate with shoppers.

-Keep workers and security personnel out of walkways.

-Know your store’s maximum occupancy. Never exceed this limit. Let customers in appropriately.

-Make sure shoppers with disabilities are offered a safe entrance.

-Never block exits.

-Keep Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and first-aid kits on hand.

We wish everyone a safe shopping day and encourage you to keep safety as a top priority.

If you or your child has been injured in an accident at a store on Black Friday in Missouri, contact St. Louis Injury Lawyer Ryan R. Cox for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 636-946-6886.

More Blog Entries:

CPSC Cracks Down on Faulty Products to Prevent Child Injury in Missouri and Elsewhere, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, July 30, 2011

Slip and Fall Accidents Among Leading Cause of Injury in St. Louis, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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