Be Safe This Black Friday
Millions of eager shoppers rise during the wee hours of the morning to participate in Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Closely-packed crowds and over-excited bargain-hunters present hazards for Black Friday participants.
Three years ago on Black Friday, 2000 frenzied customers burst through the doors of a New York Wal-Mart, trampling and killing a temporary employee. The same day, another group of shoppers broke a door from its hinges and caused a woman to miscarry.
Since then, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has created a list of safety guidelines for retailers on Black Friday, which will occur this year on Nov. 25.
The guidelines include placing crowd management personnel or police officers on site, creating a detailed staffing plan that designates a location for each worker, training workers to manage the event and contacting local fire and police agencies to determine if the event site meets all public safety requirements, among other precautions.
Keep Yourself Safe While Shopping
Black Friday in New York City is not for the pushover. Shoppers should take steps to protect themselves against physical harm and theft.
1. Be aware of your surroundings in the stores. The person standing a little too close behind you in line at the checkout may not just be impatient; he or she may be peering over your shoulder to see a credit card or PIN number.
2. Avoid dangerous situations. Shop with friends, and try to get your shopping done during the day.
3. Leave your Social Security card at home or in a secure place; never carry it while shopping.
4. Only bring the credit or debit cards you absolutely need, and make sure you have a list of the account numbers, PIN numbers and customer service phone line in a safe place at home. That way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to quickly notify the card companies.
5. Listen to stores' staff. They have been trained to ensure that crowds stay under control so the shoppers remain safe.
For the Occupational Health & Safety Administration safety guidelines, click here: OHSA Guidelines