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Employers are responsible for safety during holiday sales

The day after Thanksgiving, historically referred to as "Black Friday" is one of the largest shopping days of the year. Many retailers take advantage of the kickoff to the holiday shopping season by offering "doorbuster" sales and other promotions. For retailers, this can mean large crowds of shoppers, who are ready to rush into stores. For employees, the crowds and mad-dash feel of the day can be disastrous.

To prevent unnecessary injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration created a one-page fact sheet of guidelines and reminders for employers surrounding crowd management. 

The theme running throughout this fact sheet is the importance of proper planning and preparation. Employers need to take into account the store's layout, where sale items will be on display and how to handle crowds. All employees must also be properly trained on the procedures for the day and what to do in case of an emergency. 

Reading this, some may think the fact sheet is unnecessary. However, keep in mind that in 2008 a worker died at one of these "Black Friday" sales. Additionally, anything having to do with employee safety should be taken very seriously, any time of the year. 

Workers should keep in mind though, whether their employers took steps to protect their safety or not, being hurt on the job is often enough of a reason to file a workers' compensation claim. Blame does not need to be assigned. An attorney with experience handling workers' compensation claims in California can provide more information on filing a claim or appealing denied benefits.

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