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Date:November 25, 2014
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

LWC Visits Retailers to Promote Crowd Management Safety for Black Friday

BATON ROUGE – To promote crowd management safety, the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s OSHA Consultation Unit is meeting with Baton Rouge area retailers in advance of Black Friday to provide guidelines designed to help employers avoid injuries during sales events that draw large crowds.

“To prevent crowd-related injuries during sales and promotional events, we encourage employers to adopt effective safety and health management systems to identify and eliminate work-related hazards, including those caused by large crowds at retail events,” said Wes Hataway, director of LWC’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration.

LWC representatives have visited the following retailers: Target, Lowe’s, Toys “R” Us, Kohl’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Best Buy. More visits with other retailers are scheduled through the week.

During the retailer visits, LWC representatives share guidelines for crowd management and introduce “Sam,” the Safety Elf, as a reminder that “Safety Always Matters.” Retailers share their crowd management procedures to ensure safety for workers and shoppers.

OSHA Crowd Management Safety Guidelines encourage employers to begin crowd management planning in advance of large shopping events. Plans should include critical elements such as adequate staff presence, trained security personnel, pre-event setup, clear communication among staff and customers and emergency management procedures.

Employers are urged to carefully observe maximum occupancy restrictions once reached and not allow additional customers to enter until the occupancy level drops.

The LWC Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration’s OSHA Consultation Unit provides no-cost services to employers to identify potential workplace hazards and improve their occupational safety and health management systems. Services include incentives and support for employers who implement safety and health programs and programs to assist qualified employers in reducing workers’ compensation premiums.

Safety and health consultations are confidential and separate from OSHA enforcement efforts. For more information, contact 1-800-201-2495 or visit

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing their workers with safe and healthy workplaces. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach and education.


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