Just like that, it’s that time of the year again. Holiday season is here! That means more get-togethers with family and friends. There will be a lot of bonding time and gift giving during such occasions. This translates to increased commercial activities, especially for businesses engaged in retail and leisure.

OSHA’s Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt gave a statement in anticipation of this. She said, “Whether employees are stocking shelves, packing boxes, delivering products, or selling merchandise, they have the right to a safe workplace. Employers should focus on their responsibility to protect all employees during the busy holiday season.”

The November 20, 2018 press release emphasized the installation of precautionary safety measures in the workplace. This would be necessary during the increased number of shoppers visiting retail stores within the coming weeks. OSHA recommends the utilization of safety systems and guidelines such as:

● Trained security staff
● Installation of rope barriers
● Enforcing crowd control
● Having an emergency plan

Employers may refer to OSHA’s Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers for additional information on the matter.

Note that there is also the possibility of hiring additional staff to assist in servicing the temporary onset of more customers. This crew might not have the necessary training or awareness of potentially hazardous practices or areas in the workplace. In spite of their seasonal employment, they also have a right to be informed of safety procedures and be protected from probable injury. They are also under the coverage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Employers have the responsibility to provide for the safety and well-being of all their employees while engaged in their working environment. In addition to this, they must also keep in mind the premiums to be paid for overtime work and special days.

Here’s to a safe and memorable holiday season from all of us at Modwatch!