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Retailer's duties to avoid personal injuries during sale season

Everyone loves a good sale and "Black Friday" often provides amazing discounts that Indiana residents cash in on to complete their holiday shopping. People scour various websites to find out what deals to expect, when the stores will open and the added incentive being early will provide. With all the excitement comes mayhem, and the frenzy often leads to injuries and deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines for retailers as to how to control a crowd and avoid related injuries.

When the doors to the store open and people rush in to get the best deal, they are also the most susceptible to personal injury. OSHA advises retailers to set up barricades or rope lines before the event takes place, much before the customers begin to arrive. This line should be well behind the entrance of the store, so as to control the opening and make smaller groups of customers to enter the store in an orderly fashion. Providing regular turns in the lines ensures customers don't accidentally push or crush one another in the frenzy.

Providing multiple entrances and placing shopping carts and other obstacles or projectiles outside of the store and away from the entrance are also ways to avoid slips and falls in the premises. Dividing the sale up in different locations of the store so a crowd disperses and ensuring the store does not exceed maximum capacity at any time are also a retailer's duties.

These guidelines, however, are not always followed. When unsafe conditions are in play, injuries can occur. If someone is injured in a store, either during a sale event or in the regular shopping season, they may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the retailer who did not provide a safe environment for them. A premises liability lawsuit could be one way to get compensation to cover injuries suffered in an accident caused by someone else's negligence.

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