Local News

Government Issues Convenience Store Safety Guidelines

Posted April 28, 1998

— Hundreds of convenience store workers are killed on the job every year. Thousands more are assaulted. New recommendations were issued Tuesday to help employees in the dangerous occupation.

Without warning a robber bursts into a convenience store, and fires shots at two clerks. It's yet another example of how dangerous it is to work in a convenience store.

"He just started shooting right away," recalls store clerk, Amin Sider. "That's what scares me."

Fortunately those shots ended up piercing medicine boxes and not the clerks. But that's not always the case. Studies show about half the workers killed in robberies are store clerks. Now the government wants convenience stores to re-think the way they do business.

The federal government has released a list of recommendations to make convenience stores safer.

Margaret Howell of the US Department of Labor says a lot of safety is common sense, like keeping the minimum amount of cash in the store and having good lighting: For instance, if you're taking the trash out, if you're going to a dark corner in the parking lot, look before you go into the corner. If there is any way to turn on lights in the parking lot, turn on some more lights.

Howell also recommends security cameras, more than one clerk per shift and bullet proof glass. Sider believes the special glass is a good idea.

Unfortunately, even if you follow all the suggestions, there are still no guarantees.

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