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Workers urged to protect employees during Black Friday

Pennsylvania retailers are being urged by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to remember the dangers associated with Black Friday shopping and to take precautions in preparation for a high volume of shoppers. The risk of workplace accidents can be higher at this time of year due to a rush of people looking for deals during holiday sales, and just five years ago, in 2008, a worker was trampled to death during a sales event.

According to the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, workers should not have to be put at risk during this time of year. A few simple strategies that focus on safety can help prevent harm from coming to shoppers or staff. In an effort to bring attention to the issue, OSHA has mailed letters to major retailers reminding them of possible risks and outlining ways to help ensure the safety of people in these stores.

Some of the recommendations include crowd management plans and ensuring that entrances and exits are not blocked. Crowd management should focus on providing barricades or rope lines for pedestrians outside of the store and having police or security staff on hand. There should also be crowd control measures put in place and a plan of action if an emergency situation does occur. It is also important to prevent additional customers from entering a store once it has reached its maximum capacity.

It is unfortunately not uncommon for employers to attempt to deny workers' compensation claims for unsubstantiated reasons. If someone's employer has denied their claim, an attorney could help them in having their case reevaluated.

Source: KCSG, "US Labor Department Reminds Retail Stores to take Precautions on Black Friday", November 18, 2013

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