Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fined $7K following crushing death of employee (5/28)
OSHA's inspection found that the store's employees were exposed to being crushed by the crowd due to the store's failure to implement reasonable and effective crowd management principles. This failure includes providing employees with the necessary training and tools to safely manage the large crowd of shoppers.
"This was an unusual situation but not an unforeseen one," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's acting area director for Long Island. "The store should have recognized, based on prior ‘Blitz Friday’ experiences, the need to implement effective crowd management to protect its employees."
As a result, OSHA has issued Wal-Mart one serious citation under its general duty clause for exposing workers to the recognized hazard of being crushed by the crowd. The citation carries a proposed fine of $7,000, the maximum penalty amount for a serious violation allowed under the law. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Effective planning and crowd management could have prevented this incident and its grave consequences," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Wal-Mart must now take steps to ensure that a situation such as this one never happens again."