With the holiday shopping season officially underway, OSHA is reminding employers to protect their workers, many of whom are new or temporary hires working in intense conditions.

“Whether employees are stocking shelves, packing boxes, delivering products, or selling merchandise, they have the right to a safe workplace,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.

Retail employers should take precautions to keep workers safe while managing large crowds during sales events. Retailers are encouraged to address potential workplace safety hazards by following safety guidelines such as:

  • using trained security personnel and barricades or rope lines for pedestrians, and
  • implementing crowd control measures and emergency procedures.

OSHA offers many resources that provide information and guidance for protecting people employed in various aspects of the retail industry, including warehousing, tractor trailer drivers, forklift safety, and crowd management.

Temporary or seasonal employees hired to provide additional help have the right to a safe and healthful workplace, and to be paid for the work performed. As hiring spikes, employees not familiar with this sort of employment, and employers unaccustomed to hiring part-time and/or seasonal employees may not be fully aware of the rules that surround such work.