We have written in previous issues about the safety hazards caused by the collapse of tall shelving units in retail stores. A recent example of such an occurrence was in New York City. Eight people were injured – seven seriously – when shelving units packed with merchandise collapsed on April 7 at a Bronx dollar store. The collapsing shelves created a cascading effect, burying people under piles of merchandise. Responding firefighters had to remove the goods by hand and cart them onto the sidewalk.
It appears from all reports that there was no structural damage to the building. Fortunately, none of the injuries, which included broken bones, were life-threatening. A person who observed the incident told the New York Post:
All the shelves just started falling over. I was walking toward the back and all I heard was this thunderous loud noise. I turned and shelves fell onto one gentleman.
The cause of the collapse of the shelving is under investigation. Based on our experience, improper shelving is a most serious problem and creates hazards for customers in retail stores.
Source: Claims Journal
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