Government steps in to make sure shoppers, employees are safe on Black Friday

Posted at 11:20 PM, Nov 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-22 23:20:02-05

Next week, folks will be recovering from a long day of shopping. The government hopes you won't be recovering from any injuries.

The day traditionally called Black Friday has been marred every year recently by injuries and violence. The feds are now stepping in to protect workers from the holiday crowds.

One day after Americans give thanks for what they have, they routinely rush to get something new, sometimes trampling other people in the process.

In 2008 a Walmart employee was killed on Long Island, New York when the crowd broke down the doors at 5 a.m.

Just last year, two people were shot outside a store in Florida during a dispute over a parking space.

There have been so many reports of people injured in Black Friday shopping the federal government is now issuing a warning.

OSHA put out guidelines for stores, offering such advice as:

  • Designate a worker to contact local emergency responders if necessary.
  • Staff entrances with uniformed guards, police or other authorized personnel
  • Set up barricades or rope lines for crowd management.

In the wake of highly publicized problems, major retailers are already doing many of the things OSHA recommends.

“There`s months of training, months of preparation for this event,” says Tim Allison, the Chesapeake Walmart store manager.

Chesapeake Walmart store manager Tim Allison says he rehearses scenarios with employees for how to deal with a crowd of customers trying to buy hot items. And everything is planned from extra police, more employees, guarantees on popular items, to who cleans the bathrooms at designated times.

“We look at all the obstacles that are in our way to try and fit it to where we can make sure that people are safe and our associates are safe,” says Allison.

This is all to make sure that Black Friday is a day about cash, not casualties.