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Sussex County Workers’ Comp: Keeping Gas Station Employees Safe

Sussex County Workers' Comp Keeping Gas Station Employees SafeSussex County Workers’ Comp: Keeping Gas Station Employees Safe

Many individuals don’t understand the degree of safety issues involved with gas station owners and employees. With the majority of gas stations now being “self-serve” and not requiring an attendant to pump gas, it’s easy to assume that employees’ risks are greatly reduced. While their environmental safety may be reduced, however, your clients still face the risk of workplace violence, something that is all too common in late-night retail establishments, and a frequent Sussex County Workers’ Comp risk for your gas station clients.

OSHA states that there are many factors that make gas station convenience stores a risky place to work. These risks factors 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
  • Lack of staff training in recognizing and managing escalating hostile and aggressive behavior.

So how can your clients focus on keeping gas station employees safe? It starts with proper training, and adapting the workplace to prevent incidents from occurring. Employees should always know who to call in an emergency, and should feel safe about calling “911” for a perceived emergency if they are witnessing suspicious behavior. Gas stations should be equipped with well-maintained surveillance cameras, which are excellent tools in gathering important clues if a gas station store happens to be robbed.

Gas station owners should remind their staff that the property of the gas station is protected by their property insurance policy, and a loss to the store is not significant in comparison to that workers’ safety; so if they are being robbed to not fight back. Many stores have a stated policy regarding employees’ actions when being robbed and actually instructs them to not fight back. If your client does not already have this kind of policy in place, it is a good idea to add it to their employee handbook.

Overall, your clients should implement a violence prevention program for their staff. Incidents can and do occur, however a violence prevention plan could be key in reducing their risks. This program should:

  • Establish a clear policy for workplace violence; verbal and nonverbal threats and related actions
  • Ensure that no workers who reports or experiences workplace violence faces reprisals
  • Encourage workers to promptly report incidents and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate risks
  • Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining security in their store
  • Assign responsibility and authority for the program to individuals or teams with appropriate training and skills
  • Affirm management commitment to an environment that places as much importance on worker safety and health as on serving customers.

This is just a brief overview of how to prevent workplace violence in late-night retail establishments, and potentially reduce Sussex County Workers’ Comp claims for your clients. At Associated Insurance Specialty Agents (ASIA), we work with insurance agents and brokers to put into place a financially sound and viable plan for your clients in various target industries, including the retail sector. To learn more, please contact us today at (866) 679-7457. 

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