If someone is injured in a retail establishment while shopping or working on Black Friday, the store may be liable for injuries. It is the store’s responsibility to keep the environment safe for consumers and workers at all times. If an employer violates OSHA guidelines for crowd management during a major sales event like Black Friday, or a property owner fails to take reasonable precautions that prevent injuries, victims can file a claim for damages.
Black Friday Injury Risks and Responsibilities
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a major shopping day across the country. Since thousands of people rush to take advantage of Black Friday sales, stores are often filled with large crowds of frenzied shoppers and hazardous shopping conditions that can lead to injuries and even death for consumers and employees. During major sales events and large gatherings, a personal injury lawyer commonly sees a significant rise in serious injuries due to large crowds, blocked exits, and acts of violence.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires retail employers to take proper safety precautions to deal with large crowds on their premises to prevent personal injuries and fatalities. This includes major sales events like Black Friday when traffic flow is at maximum capacity. OSHA guidelines for crowd management include implementing crowd control measures well in advance of a major sales event by:
- Establishing emergency safety procedures
- Hiring trained security personnel or police officers to be on site
- Using adequate barricades away from the store’s entrance to hold back pedestrians
- Explaining entrance and exit procedures to customers
- Making sure all exit doors are not locked or blocked
- Preventing consumers from entering the store, once maximum occupancy is reached
Premises Liability Laws
According to premises liability laws, a building owner is responsible for providing safe premises free of dangers that pose potential injury risks to visitors, and an employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment for employees. If either of these entities fails to fulfill these duties of care, injured parties may have grounds for a lawsuit based on negligence. Filing a claim through a personal injury lawyer can result in compensation for lost wages, medical bills, emotional pain and suffering, and temporary or permanent disabilities caused by personal injuries.