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When shopping becomes a danger to your health

Is this your favorite time of year? Can't wait to get your holiday shopping escapade on? Before you throw all caution to the wind -- and not just with your pocketbook -- you might want to put safety on your list of priorities.

It seems everyone is willing to jump on the next popular bandwagon, and Black Friday was once such a bandwagon. Since, it has spun like a whirlwind into a holiday frenzy of overcrowded, early-bird shoppers, all hoping to get a deal. Everyone wants to win -- even if it means camping out, waiting for their favorite stores to open, and then rushing through the doors pushing and shoving anything in their way. Does this sound safe to you?

Not only does it not sound safe, it can be a real hazard to your health to be in such a manic crowd of shoppers. That is why retailers who participate in such enticing marketing strategies, such as Black Friday or other extreme sales, have a responsibility to their customers to use foresight in predicting potential hazards. An expectation of overcrowded situations with a limited number of products to be purchased at a sale price should prompt owners of shopping malls or retail stores to put extra precautionary measures in place to prevent undue injuries.

Precautions to ensure customer safety might include limiting the number of people entering a store to a sustainable number. Retailers should also ensure aisle ways are not only large enough for customers to maneuver, but clear of boxes and debris -- and dry at all times. Customers should be provided proper expectations of sale items. Having sufficient staffing during seasonal sales is also important, and staff should be trained in how to maintain order and prevent accidents or injury.

Premises liability accidents often arise during peak shopping seasons. Knowing what are acceptable practices for business owners when it comes to accident prevention should top your list this year. You can find more information regarding premises liability on our website.

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