WhyisWalmartspendingaseven-figuresumtofighta$7,000fineleviedagainstitbyFederalsafetyofficialsafterthe2008incidentataValleyStream,N。

Y。

storethatendedinanemployeebeingtrampledtodeath?

Becausetheydon’twantthegovernmenttotellthemhowtotreattheiremployees,mannnn:“[In]fightingthefederalfine,Wal-Martisarguingthatthegovernmentisimproperlytryingtodefine‘crowdtrampling’asanoccupationalhazardthatretailersmusttakeactiontoprevent。

”Youmean,thegovernmentwantstotellretailersthatmaybeusingtheterm“BlitzLine”whenopeningthefloodgatesforpeopleinsearchofcheapDVDplayersmightnotbegreatforemployeeschargedwithhandlingcrowd?

control?

OSHAleviedthe$7,000fineinresponsetothedeathofJdimytaiDamour,a34-year-oldtemporaryemployee,whodiedfromasphyxiationwhenastampedeofpost-ThanksgivingshoppersataWal-MartstoreinValleyStream,N。

Y。

bustedthroughthedoorsandtrampledhimjustbeforethestore’s5a。

m。

scheduledopening。

Thecrowd,estimatedat2,000people,hadbeenlinedupforhoursnearahandwrittensignthatsaid“BlitzLineStarts?

Here。



InMay2009,OSHAaccusedWal-Martoffailingtoprovideaplaceofemploymentthatwas“freefromrecognizedhazards。

”Specifically,theagencysaidthecompanyviolatedits“generalduty”toemployeesbyfailingtotakeadequatestepstoprotectthemfromasituationthatwas“likelytocausedeathorseriousphysicalharm”becauseof“crowdsurgeorcrowdtrampling。



Wal-Mart,theworld’slargestretailer,saysthatregulatorsaretryingtoenforceavaguestandardofprotectionwhentherewasnopreviousOSHAorretailindustryguidanceonhowtopreventwhatitviewsasan“unforeseeableincident。



“OSHAwantstoholdWal-Martaccountableforastandardthatwasneitherproposednorissuedatthetimeoftheincident,”saidDavidTovar,aWal-Martspokesman。

“Thecitationhasfar-reachingimplicationsfortheretailindustrythatcouldsubjectretailerstounfairlyharshpenaltiesandrestrictionsonfuturesalespromotions。



“Unforeseeable”?

Isn’tthewholepointofa“BlitzLine”torilepeopleup?

Doesn’tWalmarthaveenoughmetricsfromeveryoneofitsoutletstoseewhichitemsmightrilepeopleup,especiallyafterthey’veawokenextra-energizedfromtheirdeeplysatisfying,tryptophan-inducedThanksgivingslumber?

HereiswhatIthinkWalmartistryingtosaywiththatbitabout“accountability”fromtheflack:“We’reafraidthatOSHAisgoingtogetonourcasesnextThanksgiving,andwiththeeconomybeingaslousyasitisandnotgettingmuchbetterwe’regoingtohavetosellBlu-Rayplayersfor99cents。

Socutussome?

slack!