Recently KTNV ran a story quoting one of the victims of the accident, Bobby Carranza. Carranza has been released from the hospital, and he wondered about the lack barriers which allowed the vehicle to enter the store in the first place. These remarks will be something that other stores (and many attorneys) will be paying attention to;
"I think if they had like Target and some other stores have those barriers, those concrete barriers. If we had that or if they do that now with other stores and make it mandatory with other stores, that won't happen," said Carranza.
26 injuries could have been prevented and tens of thousands of dollars saved if Kroger-owned Food 4 Less had a policy of installing tested safety barriers or bollards. As we remarked in our previous post, the grocery industry has suffered some horrendous crashes, in part because much of the industry has not followed the lead of certain national retailers that take safety more seriously.
The work of the ASTM F12-10 Committee to write a test standard for just this type of safety barrier has been proceeding and likely will result in a published standard in 2014. As media reports and the efforts of the Storefront Safety Council show, accidents like this are far more common than many corporations believe, and more expensive than many risk managers are aware. And almost all of them are preventable.
And as Bobby Carranza has pointed out, very profitable stores like Target (and WalMart, for another) make much greater efforts to protect customers and employees by installing safety barriers or bollards in front of the stores - and customers are still entering and leaving the stores without any inconvenience
Perhaps Kroger and Food 4 Less will reconsider their position after this crash. The KTNV report concludes with these remarks:
"On Monday, Food 4 Less finally spoke out about the crash, saying they'll look at better ways to protect their customers.
"We'll take a look at everything that's available. There's a lot of different options out there when it comes to those types of things and or the right safety things to put depending on traffic flow and the way a parking lot is set up. Our team is taking a look at all aspects," said Kendra Doyel with Food 4 Less."
You can see the whole report from KTNV here.