Today's News

Judge upholds OSHA citation against Wal-Mart after worker trampled to death (3/28)

March 28, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


A judge last week upheld OSHA citations and penalties against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., finding that the management of a Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream, N.Y. failed to provide adequate crowd control during a sale, resulting in a worker being trampled to death by shoppers in 2008.

OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels said the ruling by Chief Administrative Law Judge Covette Rooney of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission shows employers are legally responsible for providing a safe workplace, even in the absence of a specific rule or standard. “If not properly managed by retailers, a large crowd poses a significant threat to the lives of workers and customers," said Michaels.

OSHA issued the citation for inadequate crowd management in May of 2009, after an investigation into the Nov. 28, 2008 of a Wal-Mart employee. The worker was knocked to the ground and crushed by a crowd of about 2,000 shoppers surging into the store for its annual "Blitz Friday" holiday sales event. OSHA's inspection found that the store's workers were at risk of being crushed by the crowd due to the store's failure to implement reasonable and effective crowd management practices. “Those practices would have provided the store's workers with the necessary training and tools to safely manage a large crowd of shoppers,” according to the agency.

Under its General Duty Clause, OSHA issued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. one serious citation for exposing workers to the recognized hazards of asphyxiation or being crushed by a crowd. Wal-Mart disputed the citation and the proposed fine of $7,000 -- the maximum penalty amount for a serious violation allowed under the law.

Michaels said during the course of the agency’s investigation, Wal-Mart implemented crowd control measures storewide, and the National Retail Federation also promoted those practices to its members. "We praise that action, and urge all retailers to implement crowd management practices ahead of future sales events likely to draw large crowds."

According to the Wal-Mart website, the company earned $14.2 billion in fiscal year 2010.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN1014_cover.jpg

2014 October

This issue features articles about PPE safety and OSHA standards

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.