Convenient Excuses

Oct 9, 2009 - by Bonnie Bobit - 0 Comments

The deadly occupation of convenience store employee and how the convenience store industry is fighting to prevent the implementation of federal rules that would make those jobs safer.

by Bonnie Bobit

Other than the job of police officer, which job category would you say is most often subject to homicide in the United States? Postal worker? Private detective? Bounty hunter? Abortion clinic staff? Liquor store workers? By far the most dangerous job in the United States is, and has been for years, that of those who work in convenience stores at night.

Ten months ago, Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman released recommendations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that could significantly reduce the number of employees murdered on the job during robberies and other violent acts. The report, in citing that after-dark convenience store workers were at the greatest risk of being murdered during robberies and other violent acts, included recommendations that directly addressed what convenience store owners could do to better protect their employees from assault. In particular, the report advanced a series of preventative measures, chiefly physical improvements and alterations to the stores.

Not surprisingly, the convenience store owners immediately translated these improvements into added overhead costs and balked at the report. Quickly, public relations reps from the major convenience store chains called a press conference to say that OSHA's recommendations were premature, not practical, and would ruin customer relationships.

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