US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

With the holiday season approaching, OSHA wants employers to remain aware that crowd-related injuries can occur during special sales and promotional events. OSHA has prepared the following guidelines to help employers avoid injuries during any event where large crowds may gather:


  • Where large crowds are expected, hire additional staff as needed and have trained security, crowd management personnel or police officers on site.
  • Ensure that workers are properly trained to manage the event.
  • Provide legible and visible signs that describe entrance and exit locations, store opening times and other important information such as the location of major sale items and restrooms.
  • Train workers in crowd management procedures and the emergency plan. Provide them with an opportunity to practice the event plan and include local public safety agencies if appropriate.

Pre-Event Setup

  • Make sure that barricades are set up so that the customer line does not start right at the entrance to the store. This will allow for orderly crowd management entry and make it possible to divide crowds into small groups for the purpose of controlling entrance.
  • Make sure that outside personnel have radios or some other way to communicate with personnel inside the store and emergency responders.
  • Locate sale items in different parts of the store to prevent overcrowding in one place.
  • Locate shopping carts and other potential obstacles or projectiles inside the store and away from the entrance, not in the parking lot.

During the Event

  • Provide a separate store entrance for staff. Provide door monitors there to prevent crowd entry.
  • Position security or crowd managers to the sides of entering (or exiting) public, not in the center of their path.
  • When the store reaches maximum occupancy, do not allow additional customers to enter until the occupancy level drops.
  • Provide a safe entrance for people with disabilities.

Emergency Situations

  • Do not restrict egress, and do not block or lock exit doors.
  • Know in advance who to call for emergency medical response.
  • Keep first-aid kits and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available, and have personnel trained in using AEDs and CPR onsite.
  • Instruct employees, in the event of an emergency, to follow instructions from authorized first responders, regardless of company rules.

In addition to the available OSHA tools and/or guidance on this topic, UVICELL Safety in Paradise provides free services to businesses requiring further assistance. For free consultation services, policy development and training, please contact the UVICELL Safety in Paradise office via email at