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Retail Crowd Control for Holiday Shopping

Retail Crowd Control for Holiday ShoppingIn our last post, we discussed the important safety strategies that retailers need to possess during Black Friday. While the busiest shopping day of the year has come and gone, it doesn’t mean retailers are out of the woods. In fact, throughout December and even past Christmas prove to be some of the most hectic shopping days of the year. Everyone remembers the story of a Walmart store clerk who was trampled to death after shoppers rushed over him to take advantage of the sales, and this dreadful scenario does not need to be played out year after year. Instead, these crowd management strategies can minimize injury, death and legal claims. What’s more, proper crowd control can minimize Retail Workers’ Compensation Insurance claims.

OSHA has defined and explained crowd control expectations in the following four categories: planning, pre-event setup, sales events, and emergency situations.


Evaluate the anticipated crowds to visit the store on each particular day and staff the store accordingly. It’s also important to have employees monitor entrances and exits throughout the day and ensure patrons have a safe visit. If there’s an event, ensure local authorities are present if needed and that all decorations and event equipment are compliant with safety codes.

Pre-event setup.

Next, insights gathered from the Planning stage are to be implemented during event setup. Specifically, OSHA recommends use of barricades, crowd control stanchions, and ropes to control crowds. These tools can be used to achieve a number of goals, like limiting the number of customers who may enter the store, directing customers to specific sales areas once in-store, and routing customers into line queues for check-out and customer service. OSHA goes on to make many more recommendations, several of which focus on designating specific employees to perform important tasks, including communicating with customers, regulating customer flow, and reporting emergency situations

Event day.

Filter employees through a separate entrance, if possible, to monitor the crowd flow. Be mindful of the maximum capacity afforded by the law to ensure there are no injuries on the day of the event. Communication is key here: keep in touch with front of house and back of house operations throughout the day.

Emergency situations.

This is the worst case scenario, but planning ahead can save a life and minimize injuries. Ensure authorities are contacted immediately, employees are compliant and helpful with them, and that the proper first aid kits and equipment are on hand to address emergency situations as soon as possible.

About ASIA Workers’ Compensation

Associated Specialty Insurance Agency, Inc. has been “The Workers’ Compensation Specialist for Brokers and Agents” for the past two decades and is committed to providing brokers and insurance agents across the East Coast with expertise and services to develop a Workers’ Compensation policy. For more information about how we can assist you with claims management, anti-fraud measures, and more, call (610) 543-5510 to speak with one of our professionals.

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