New rules will help keep Alberta convenience and gas station workers safe by preventing gas-and-dash incidents.
On June 1, new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) rules will take effect and 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 across Alberta.
“Fuel prepayment saves lives. 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.”
~Christina Gray, Minister of Labour
“Across the province, the implementation of prepayment eliminates the risks associated with fuel payment. We moved to prepay because we believe it is the right thing to do, and so do the people working at our stations. We appreciate the government taking this important step to protect attendants and the public.”
~Lawrence Richler, vice-president, Canadian Products Marketing, Husky Energy Inc.
“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.”
~Chief Rod Knecht, Edmonton Police Service and representative of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police
Along with these new rules, convenience stores will also develop detailed violence prevention plans. These plans will minimize the risk of theft and robbery by requiring employers to:
- Have time lock safes that cannot be opened overnight.
- Implement safe-handling procedures and have minimal amounts of cash on hand.
- Limit overnight quantities of common theft items like cash, tobacco and lottery tickets.
- Use video monitoring.
- Limit access to the premises.
- Display signs to inform the public of time lock safes, limited quantities of certain items and video monitoring.
- Provide personal emergency transmitters for workers working alone and train workers in all aspects of the violence prevention plan.
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
- Having an account at the fuel outlet.
More information on all the changes, resources and webinars is online at Alberta.ca.