Retailers in Chicago have plenty of issues to worry about, such as how to better serve their customers, how to fend off competitors and how to keep their best employees. Given those issues, safeguarding the workplace from potential hazards may not always be top of mind. However, ensuring that appropriate policies are in place to minimize workplace injuries, which could lead to workers’ compensation claims, is worth the effort. Moreover, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing their workers with safe and healthy workplaces. One aspect of this responsibility is instituting effective safety policies in order to identify and eliminate, where possible, work-related hazards, some of which may be crowd-related.
In preparation for a retail event that is expected to attract a crowd of people, policies relating to planning are important for avoiding workplace hazards. First, retailers must ensure that resources are available to support the expected crowd. For example, additional staff and security personnel may be necessary, in order to direct crowds, monitor behavior and address problems as they may arise. Other necessary resources could include permits, licenses and notifying local emergency services.
The next set of policies to address relate to the pre-event setup. The focus of these policies is the design of the event venue. In order to prevent possible crowd-related hazards, retailers should consider how crowds are likely to behave as they proceed through the venue. This foresight may help avoid problems that could risk the safety of customers or workers. Some examples include distributing items that are expected to draw the most attention around the venue, so that they are not concentrated in a way that could create tension among customers. Workers should be organized in such a way that they are capable of consistent communication, not only with customers, but also with each other. This may help them to quickly identify and eliminate potential workplace hazards, which could necessitate a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
During the sales event
During the event, properly positioning staff among the crowds can be critical to avoiding workplace injuries. For example, one policy could feature separate entrances and exits for staff members, which reduces direct contact with potentially hasty crowds moving in and out of the venue.
Finally, policies ought to be in place for emergency situations that could arise. Specific workers could be designated for specific tasks in these situations, such as who will call the fire department, who will administer first aid and who will communicate with the crowd.
Workers who have been involved in a workplace accident, crowd-related or otherwise, may wish to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.