Monday, November 19, 2012

OSHA urges retail employers to protect workers from injuries during holiday sales with safe crowd management planning

In 2008, a New York worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed through the doors of a large store at the opening of a "Black Friday" sale. OSHA is encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent this type of tragedy during major sales events this holiday season. This year, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels has sent a letter to the CEOs of major retail employers urging them to follow common-sense crowd control measures to prevent worker injuries. OSHA has prepared a set of guidelines to help retail employers and store owners avoid injuries during the holiday shopping season, or other events where large crowds may gather. See OSHA's Crowd Management Safety Guidelines Fact Sheet for more information. Crowd management planning should begin in advance of events that are likely to draw large crowds, and crowd management, pre-event setup, and emergency situation management should be part of that plan.

Crowd management plans should include: trained security personnel or police officers on-site, barricades or rope lines for pedestrians provided well in advance of customers arriving at the store, barricades so the customers’ line does not begin at the immediate entrance of the store, emergency procedures in place that address potential dangers, and security personnel or customer service representatives available to explain approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public.
See the news release for more information.

Updated training and educational resources available from OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign website

Plan. Provide. Train. These three simple steps can prevent falls and save lives. OSHA's fall prevention campaign website provides several training resources and educational resources to assist workers and employers in preventing falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. These pages have been updated with additional materials from OSHA's campaign partners, including new Spanish-language resources on ladders and other equipment.
To order these or any of OSHA's fall prevention materials, call OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or visit OSHA's Publications page.

Protect emergency response and cleanup workers assisting in Hurricane Sandy recovery operations

As the disaster recovery response to Hurricane Sandy begins throughout much of the Eastern United States, OSHA's field staff is working diligently to provide assistance and support to those involved in the recovery effort. OSHA urges workers and members of the public engaged in cleanup activities to be aware of the hazards they might encounter and the necessary steps they should take to protect themselves.
OSHA maintains comprehensive websites on keeping disaster site workers safe during hurricane and storm cleanup and flood response operations. The hurricane page includes a response/recovery page features a link to OSHA’s Hurricane eMatrix, which features information on hazard exposures and risk assessments for hurricane response and recovery work. The flood preparedness and response page also includes aresponse/recovery page that provides useful details on the hazards to avoid when flooding has occurred. The sites also provide extensive resources on protecting recovery workers, including a Hurricane Sandy safety and health resource page from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. For more information, read OSHA's press release on the Hurricane Sandy response.