It is easy to imagine situations which may qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, a construction worker falling or an office worker dealing with repetitive motion injuries. But there are thousands of ways in which a worker can get hurt on the job. This includes instances which are not “normal” but still preventable.
Take for example a recent ruling against Wal-Mart which upheld a $7,000 fine issued by OSHA over the trampling death of a Wal-Mart employee. Wal-Mart has spent over $2 million and one year in court fighting the fine, because it and other retailers do not agree in regulators deciding how sales events should be conducted.
Apparently, others disagree. Retailers must take into consideration the safety of their workers and the customers visiting their stores when they conduct certain types of sales events. While regulations may affect how these events are handled, the end result could save the life of one or more participants.
In 2008, one employee lost his life when an unruly crowd waiting for the store to open on Black Friday, trampled him to death. Other workers reported having to jump on top of venting machines to protect themselves from the crowd. This is not the first instance of someone getting hurt or killed during a holiday sales event and more steps have to be taken to ensure these situations do not happen in the future.
A worker should be able to go to work at a retail store without fear of being trampled by an incited crowed, just as shoppers should be able to take advantage of sales without risking their lives. The responsibility lies on both parties, however the regulations may become the problem of retailers.