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:
- 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