By: Emily Stringer
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Black Friday Injuries
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. The time-honored tradition has grown larger in recent years. The Friday after Thanksgiving is synonymous with crowds, fights, and an all-around shopping frenzy. These massive sales draw in thousands of customers to stores, resulting in mass crowds and often injuries and even deaths.
Since 2006, 11 people have died in the United States on Black Friday and 108 injuries were reported. These numbers are small compared to the total number of shoppers on Black Friday and do not account for any unreported injuries. While these numbers are small, it does not discount these injuries and deaths. This year, The National Retail Federation estimates more than 165 million people will shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.
Black Friday presents many hazards for both consumers and employees. Risks include trampling by massive crowds, blocked emergency exits, and acts of violence. People might find themselves drawn into a crowd and unable to escape or protect themselves. Along with Black Friday crowds and the inherent risks involved, shoppers and employees must consider regular property hazards such as spills, uneven surfaces, trip hazards, improper lighting, and more.
During Black Friday, businesses should take extra precautions and ensure safety measures are in place. Considering the heavy foot traffic, many retail stores cannot keep up or provide proper safety measures to protect shoppers and their employees. OSHA has recommended safety measures for retail stores to follow when handling the large volume of holiday shoppers. When these measures fail, or the store is not comply with OSHA standards, accidents can happen.
Here are some measures OSHA recommends for crowd management:
- Trained security guards or police officers on site during large sales events
- Do not block doors
- Providing a separate entrance for staff
- Keeping maximum occupancy at the stated level
- Inform all employees of emergency plans
Stores must uphold premises liability which states property owners must maintain a safe environment and holds them liable for accidents and injuries on their property.
If you are injured at a store on Black Friday, a store might be legally responsible. One of our attorneys can investigate your injury and causes and help you possibly build a case.
As an employee injured on Black Friday, if you can prove your employer broke OSHA’s guidelines for crowd management and/or was negligent, you can likely file a claim. Both shopper and employee injuries are negligence under the law.
If you were injured during Black Friday, contact us today.