Articles Tagged with Georgia Gas Station Clerk Shooting

Occupational safety advocates warn, late-night gas station and convenience store clerks are at a heightened risk of workplace violence. The Enterprise reports, “the clerks, attendants and cashiers who staff the counters at gas stations and corner grocery stores, often alone and late into the night, are among the most vulnerable to workplace violence and harassment, falling victim to on-the-job attacks at a rate that approaches law enforcement officers and people who work with the mentally ill.”

Young workers are particularly vulnerable to “inappropriate or threatening behavior,” the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health tells media. The coalition reports, those under 25-years-old are “twice as likely to be injured on the job…and often know little about their workplace rights.”

The coalition offers training sessions and urges employers to:

  • Think about how the physical setup of their stores affects the safety of their workers.
  • Keep businesses well lit.
  • Invest in appropriate security systems.
  • Make sure windows are clear.
  • Train employees how to handle confrontation with a verbally abusive costumer.
  • Train employees how to respond to a robbery or violent situation.

Read more at The Enterprise.

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Workers have a right to a safe and secure workplace. According to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report, “late-night retail establishments, such as convenience stores, liquor stores, and gasoline stations, experience relatively high homicide and assault rates.” Employers must protect late-night retail workers and patrons exposed to this potential for violence by taking a proactive approach to security and violence prevention.

Read highlights of OSHA’s “Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments” below:

 Risk Factors
A number of factors put late-night retail workers at risk. These include:
  • The exchange of money (making them targets for robbery);
  • Solo work and isolated work sites;
  • The sale of alcohol;
  • Poorly lit stores and parking areas; and
  • Lack of staff training in recognizing and managing escalating hostile and aggressive behavior.

Violence Prevention Programs

At a minimum, workplace violence prevention programs should:

  • Establish a clear policy for workplace violence, verbal and nonverbal threats and related actions. All personnel employed in the retail establishment should know the policy.
  • Ensure that no worker who reports or experiences workplace violence faces reprisals.
  • Encourage workers to promptly report incidents and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate risks. Require records of incidents to assess risk and measure progress.
  • Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining security in the workplace. The plan should include establishing a liaison with law enforcement representatives and others who can help identify ways to prevent and mitigate workplace violence.
  • Assign responsibility and authority for the program to individuals or teams with appropriate training and skills. Ensure that adequate resources are available and that those responsible for the program develop expertise on workplace violence prevention in late-night retail settings.
  • Affirm management commitment to an environment that places as much importance on worker safety and health as on serving store patrons.

Know Your Rights

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