In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee in New York was trampled to death by shoppers rushing through the doors to take advantage of a Black Friday sale. Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a Fact Sheet for retail employers, recommending methods for crowd control in advance of this year's sales. The Fact Sheet contains recommended steps for crowd control, including the presence of security personnel, barricades and rope lines, and store entry procedures that keep shoppers away from store personnel opening doors at the opening of business.
OSHA also sent a letter to the nation's top retailers reminding them of their worker safety obligations with regard to these sales. The recommendations contained in the fact sheet are not binding regulations, but OSHA can cite retailers that fail to take adequate steps to protect employees under the General Duty Clause. The fact sheet can be found here.