OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels

ALJ Upholds Penalty for Wal-Mart Trampling Case

OSHA Chief Dr. David Michaels said the ruling "supports OSHA's position that, even in the absence of a specific rule or standard, employers are still legally responsible for providing a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause serious injury or death."

OSHA announced that Chief Administrative Law Judge Covette Rooney of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission on March 25 upheld its serious citation and $7,000 penalty issued to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for inadequate crowd management after worker at a store in New York State was trampled to death in November 2008.

"This is a win for both workers and consumers," OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said in the agency's news release. "It's only fitting that today, the 100th anniversary of the deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City where 146 workers lost their lives, that a judge affirmed OSHA's right to protect the safety and health of workers from clearly recognized hazards. Today's ruling supports OSHA's position that, even in the absence of a specific rule or standard, employers are still legally responsible for providing a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause serious injury or death. If not properly managed by retailers, a large crowd poses a significant threat to the lives of workers and customers."

The death occurred Nov. 28, 2008, at a store in Valley Stream, N.Y., as shoppers streamed inside for a "Blitz Friday" holiday sales event. OSHA said its inspection found the store's workers were at risk of being crushed by the crowd because store management failed to implement reasonable and effective crowd management practices. The $7,000 penalty was the maximum allowed by law for the serious citation -- a classification that means death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"During the course of OSHA's investigation, the company implemented crowd control measures storewide, and the National Retail Federation also promoted those practices to its members," said Michaels. "We praise that action and urge all retailers to implement crowd management practices ahead of future sales events likely to draw large crowds."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has 20 days from the date Rooney's decision is docketed with OSHRC during which it can appeal to the full commission.

The inspection was conducted by the Long Island Area Office, and the case was litigated for OSHA by Jeffrey Rogoff, Darren Cohen, Kathryn L. Stewart, Sudwiti Chanda and Diane C. Sherman of the Labor Department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue