As mentioned previously on this blog space, it is an employer’s responsibility to create a safe working environment for all employees at all times, regardless of the type of workspace. One time an ordinarily safe working place can become unsafe is when a big sale or event is advertised and expected to attract a lot of customers in a store. At this, workers unprepared to deal with the crowd could sustain crush injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized the difficulties employers may face in these situations and have provided certain guidelines Massachusetts’ employers may want to follow to ensure their employee’s safety during a frenzy. It is important to note that they have provided steps that should be taken when planning the event, before the event and during the event to ensure minimum workplace accident injuries.
Some of the most important steps include increasing the number of staff members and security teams in anticipation of a large crowd and providing a detailed plan that gives each worker a designated area and training before the event. Training is essential and it might even be beneficial to have crowd management personnel on site to ensure the event goes smoothly. A worker should be designated to make key decisions during the event and an emergency plan should be created that lets workers know what to do in case they get injured by the crowd-who they should contact and where they should go. In these situations, not only is training and awareness important but it is also essential to provide employees with opportunities to practice before the big event.
Though the OSHA guidelines are not to be considered as creating any new policies that need to be complied with, there are certain compliance requirements that must be met and, when violated, could result in penalties for employers. More importantly, they could result in devastating workplace injuries for which the workplace accident victim could file a workers’ compensation claim.