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Holidays aren't always happy for Oklahoma workers in retail

By this time next week, the turkey will have been carved. The pie will have been enjoyed (the first slice at least), and the coupons will have been collected. Black Friday is next week, and Oklahoma shoppers are no different from other bargain shoppers across the country. They will line up bright and early to get a good deal on electronics and other holiday gifts.

While the popular shopping day provides lots of deals, smiles and excitement for consumers, it also can create dangerous situations. Shoppers can get hurt, but so can the dedicated workers who spend their Friday serving customers instead of nursing their turkey hangovers and shopping desires.

Black Friday has become a notorious day for shopping-related injuries. A retail store can become so dangerous without the proper safety precautions that workers can get severely injured or even killed. In 2008, for example, a worker died when a mob of shoppers walked over him. That incident and tragic outcome are proof of how important it is for stores to plan and enact strict crowd management tactics.

Part of crowd management and work injury prevention, according to OSHA, is ensuring that enough security staff and police are on-duty in stores. Security can help store employees implement the crowd control strategies that should already be planned and explained to the staff. Having an educated and trained staff is crucial to the goal of reducing workplace accidents.

Whether a worker is injured on the most popular shopping day of the year or on just an average day on-the-job, he or she has rights. A work-related injury attorney can listen to a victim's case and explain what the next best step could be.

Source: KCSG, "US Labor Department Reminds Retail Stores to take Precautions on Black Friday," Nov. 18, 2013

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