Rosengren Law Office, LLC

Crowd-related workplace injuries prevalent during shopping season

With the many promotional events and special sales arranged in Minnesota and across the United States in the time leading up to the holidays, workers in many industries face significantly more risks of workplace injuries than at any other time of the year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges employers to plan ahead and provide employees with the training necessary to deal with potentially hazardous situations. Crowd-management planning is crucial for retail facilities at which large crowds are likely to arrive to purchase marked-down items at sales events.

Not only must workers receive training in protecting their own safety, but they must also learn how to deal with emergencies in which customers are involved. Employers must delegate specific staff members to take charge of the different areas of the facility. Other staff members must report emergencies to that person who will know how to contact emergency services promptly.

Crowd-management training is crucial. Workers, even inexperienced seasonal workers, must know exactly what to do in all circumstances. Signs to restrooms and emergency exits must be clearly visible, and routes to exits must be free of obstructions. Some staff members must learn CPR and how to use Automated External Defibrillators on-site. There must also be clear rules about managing access to prevent overcrowding and pushing, which could be life-threatening.

Retail workers in Minnesota might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program will have their backs if they suffer workplace injuries. This is not the time of year that anyone wishes to spend in a hospital. Still, if that happens, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the navigation of workers' compensation benefits claims.

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