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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and proposed a $7,000 fine against the owner and operator of a chain of gas stations and convenience stores after an employee working alone late at night was shot in the leg during an armed robbery.
The agency cited Enon, Ohio-based Speedway L.L.C., which owns and operates 1,480 stores located in nine states, for one serious violation following the May incident at one of its Syracuse, New York, stores after inspectors found that employees were exposed to physical assaults while performing their routine duties, OSHA said Wednesday in a statement.
In 2009, OSHA issued recommendations for workplace violence prevention programs in late-night retail establishments, including engineering controls and workplace adaptations such as ensuring the customer service and cash register areas are visible from outside the establishment, and installing and regularly maintaining alarm systems and other security devices such as panic buttons.
Other recommendations include requiring workers to use drop safes and keeping a minimal amount of cash in each register, and developing and implementing emergency procedures for workers to use in case of a robbery or security breach, such as calling the police or triggering an alarm.
“The hazards of workplace violence in late-night retail establishments are well-known, but so are the measures employers can take to safeguard their employees against these hazards,” Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York, said in a statement.
“We at Speedway were saddened by the robbery that occurred this summer,” a Speedway spokesman said in an email. “We express our best wishes to our injured employee and his family and are grateful for a full recovery.
“Safety has always been and will continue to be a top priority for our company. We maintain a strong commitment to the continued protection of all our employees. We are in the process of evaluating the citation we received from OSHA. We have fully cooperated with OSHA throughout its inspection and will continue to do so as we work together to resolve the citation.”
Two Texas contractors are facing a total of $65,900 in proposed fines after federal regulators found their employees were exposed to cave-in hazards.