Child Suffers Head Injuries Due to Unsafe Retail Display


Retail Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves a child that was injured at a large retail store after wandering into a section that was roped off. The section contained a number of snowblowers, some of which were on display as floor models while others were kept in boxes on shelves. While the child was in the area, a large product fell off a shelf and landed on the child, causing a serious head injury. An expert in retail safety was sought to discuss appropriate safety measures and roping procedures for retail stores.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in retail safety, specifically regarding products out for display.
  • 2. What industry standards are in place to prevent this type of incident?

Expert Witness Response E-004539

I have over 35 years of retail design, display design, and maintenance experience for major retailers and an architectural education background. I am familiar with the industry standards set by Home Depot, Sears, Lowe’s, Menard’s, Target, and Walmart, and I am well versed in building code, ADA, and OSHA regulations. I have provided at least 20 opinion reports addressing instances of retail display causing injury, as well as staff compliance to display preparation policies. Manufacturer manuals often provide warnings and preventive measures to avoid injury. Without seeing the actual display presentation, the following needs to be considered:

1. Method of roping off the section
2. Notice to customers not to enter the section
3. Notice on product as to safe storage methods
4. Lighting in the section

All of the above are mentioned in chain safety manuals and training guides to staff.

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