Worker Safety During the Holiday Shopping Season
Thanksgiving is behind us and now the holiday season can truly begin. With Black Friday already underway, this weekend is a shopaholic’s dream — great sales, deep discounts, and time to shop. It also means crowded stores, irritated customers, and long hours for workers. And if you’re one of those brave retail workers handling the crowds this weekend, there may be a chance that you could be injured while on the job.
If a customer gets into an accident during Black Friday, under New Jersey’s premises liability law, that customer may be able to file a claim against the store and its employees. But what if you’re an employer and are injured? What are your legal options?
The Dangers of Holiday Sales for Employees
In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee in Long Island had died after an “out-of-control” mob of shoppers has smashed through the store’s front doors and had trampled him to death. According to news reports, approximately 2,000 people had gathered outside the Wal-Mart, chanting, “Let us in,” as nervous employees prepared for the mob. They tried to form a human chain to slow down the masses.
However, that just made things worse. The crowds overwhelmed the workers, jumping barricades and breaking the doors. Several of the employees were knocked over, including 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, who was repeatedly stepped on as workers tried to reach the body. When help arrived, Damour wasn’t breathing. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Although Wal-Mart had taken extra safety precautions before Black Friday, it was still not enough to prevent the mob scene.
Staying Safe During the Holiday Shopping Season
The holiday season is the busiest shopping season of the year. And it is your employer’s responsibility to make sure your safety is protected this holiday season. Even though workers’ compensation will pay your bills if something does happen, no one wants to be injured during the most wonderful time of the year.
If you are working the stores this weekend, keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure all hazards are clear from the isles. Such dangers include cleaning up any spills, making sure displays are not blocking pathways, and all misplaced items return to their proper location.
- With long hours and massive crowds, fatigue will quickly set it. Try to take as many breaks as you can. If you feel yourself fading, make sure you let your employer know. Even a quick five-minute break can revive you!
- Need to get to a top shelf to get an item for a customer? For your safety, make sure you climb up and down the ladder slowly. Although a customer may be waiting impatiently, your safety is more important!
- If severe weather is in the forecast, make sure any mats or floors are clean of snow and water. No one wants a slip and fall to occur.
Be Safe This Holiday Season!
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone wants everyone to be safe this holiday season. However, if you do get into an accident, whether on the job or as a customer, we’re here to help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.