Holiday season often mean bonuses for workers, and, if they are working at stores that have slashed their prices to attract customers, there is an added bonus of using the employee discount to get great gifts for loved ones. But, when a retailer does not take the necessary steps to protect their employees in crowded stores, the only gift a worker might get is a workplace injury and ensuing medical bill.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized the dangers a crowded store can pose for employees and has issued some safety guidelines for employers. California employers, similar to their counterparts across the country, adhere to the compliance requirements OSHA issues-if they are found violating OSHA standards, employers might be fined.
The most important step employers should take during sale season is hiring new staff and training all the staff in crowd management and managing the event. Employees should be given detailed staffing plans, outlining where every employee should be at every time and what their duties are, including the emergency exits and the person designated to contact emergency services if the need arises. An emergency plan should also be created, advising workers how to protect themselves if they are stuck in a crowd or being pushed around by a crowd. Unfortunately, people get very passionate when trying to get the best deal, and violence can also result, injuring employees. First Aid Kits should be readily accessible and uniformed guards readily available. Practicing the plan with employees can also ensure they are prepared on the big day.
Getting injured on the job does not have to happen. When an employer fulfills their obligations to their employees and sales events go off without a hitch, everyone benefits. But, when something goes wrong and an employee is injured, it may be possible to file a workers’ compensation claim against the employer.