www.cos-mag.com
Jun 5, 2018

Alberta government says prepaying for gas protects workers’ safety

Gas station
New rules introduced will help keep Alberta convenience and gas station workers safe by preventing gas-and-dash incidents

The Alberta government has introduced new Occupational Health and Safety rules that have taken effect June 1 to make fuel prepayment mandatory at all gas stations in the province.

Over the past four years, Alberta has seen a number of convenience store robberies and gas-and-dash incidents result in the deaths of five workers and serious injuries to three workers.

“Fuel prepayment saves lives,” said Alberta Minister of Labour Christina Gray. “These new rules will improve safety for fuel and convenience store workers by preventing violent gas-and-dash incidents. While it may take a few extra minutes, paying before you pump is worth it to make sure all workers go home safely to their families at the end of the day.”

Employees are required to do the following to minimize risk of theft and robbery: have time lock safes that cannot be opened overnight; implement safe handling procedures and have minimal amounts of cash on hand; limit quantities of common theft items such as cash, tobacco and lottery tickets; use video monitoring; limit access to premises; display signs to inform the public of time lock safes, limited quantities of certain items and video monitoring; and provide personal emergency transmitters for workers working alone and train workers in all aspects of the violence prevention plan. 

Along with these new rules, convenience stores will also develop detailed violence prevention plans.

“This legislation will help reduce the number of gas-and-dash incidents and the police resources required to respond. Now, police services across the province can redirect these resources to other areas in need of police support,” said Rod Knecht, chef, Edmonton Police Service and representative of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police.  

Retailers are not required to upgrade their pumps with pay-at-the-pump technology. There are multiple options available at little to no cost, including: paying at the pump; paying the attendant before fuelling; preauthorizing a debit or credit card or leaving cash with the attendant before fuelling; and having an account at the fuel outlet.