One of the lesser known holiday traditions is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s annual reissuance of its Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers. OSHA warns retailers dealing with crowded sales events to take steps that include (at a minimum):
- On-site trained security personnel or police officers;
- Barricades or rope lines for pedestrians that do not start right in front of the store’s entrance;
- Implementing crowd control measures well before customers arrive at the store;
- Emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers;
- Methods to explain approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public;
- Observing maximum occupancy levels and;
- Not blocking or locking exit doors.
If you’re a retailer, it provides useful guidance on planning, setting up, and conducting crowded sales events, as well as proper emergency responses. If you’re not, consider making a dramatic reading of the Guidelines a part of your Thanksgiving tradition. It’s never too soon to start teaching your kids about bureaucracies and government regulation.