On Black Friday 2008, the day after Thanksgiving, an employee of a Wal Mart store on Long Island was trampled to death as an angry mob broke into the store and trampled the worker. With other employees he had been trying to keep customers out until the official opening time, 5:00 AM, but at 4:55 AM, the crowd broke down the door.
There have been other incidents in the years since, and regulators and lawmakers have tried to require retailers to make things safer for employees as well as frenzied shoppers. This year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a press release listing tips for retailers trying to protect their workers. Titled Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers, the fact sheet included steps retailers should take to protect workers during major sales events, such as Black Friday. In addition to issuing the fact sheet, OSHA sent letters to major retailers reminding them of their responsibilities to protect employees.