During the holiday and post-holiday seasons people flock to retail stores throughout the United States. Before the holidays, people are looking for presents for loved ones. After the holidays, people are making returns and taking advantage of clearance sales. With this increased retail traffic, retailers should know that their employees can be at risk. Without the right crowd management, retail workers can face serious injury or death by out of control crowds. In fact, as recently as 2008, a retail worker has been killed being trampled to death.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration there are many things that retailers can do to reduce the risk to employees. First, retailers need to have a plan. They need to have emergency procedures in place to deal with the dangerous posed by unruly crowds. This way they are prepared for any potential issues.

Retailers should also prepare their stores for the increased traffic. They can prepare in several ways including using rope lines and barricades throughout the store. This prevents people from rushing. Hiring a security team can also help to keep crowds under control. Stores can also keep employees safe by keeping exit doors clear and unlocked. Respecting maximum occupancy laws can also keep crowds under control.

In order to avoid workplace injuries, these precautions should be taken prior to the shoppers arriving. Shoppers should also be given information on how they will be allowed to enter the store.

Workplace accidents and injuries can occur to retail workers in New York at any time of the year. When they occur, workers should make sure to understand their legal right to workers’ compensation to help cover the cost of the injury.