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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Labor Commissioner Lori A. Torres and leaders from three of the state's late night retail associations agreed to create a formal alliance between them and Indiana's INSafe program, a Department of Labor division that offers on-site consultation and works with employers and others to ensure workplace health and safety.
The Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, Indiana Retail Council and Indiana Grocery & Convenience Store Association plan to sign the formal alliance document in March, Occupational Health & Safety magazine reported. Following that, the new group will issue a final report in May that includes recommendations for late night store safety best practices; self-regulation recommendations; recommendations for standard safety audits; and recommendations for increased interaction between the Indiana Department of Labor and the late night retail industry.
"The [Late Night Retail Working Group] has established a clear plan of action to improve worker safety and violence prevention in late night retail stores in Indiana," Torres said after the group's Feb. 16 meeting. "This meeting added to the progress leading to anticipated major and beneficial changes in the industry. The willingness of all key partners in the industry to address these safety issues is commendable, and I am optimistic that this group effort will result in significant benefits for Indiana workers in the late night retail industry."
The Late Night Retail Working Group held its initial meeting on Jan. 11, during which it discussed the problem of workplace violence at 24-hour convenience stores. That meeting was prompted by an October robbery of a Village Pantry store, during which an employee was shot in the head but survived. Following the initial meeting, Torres suggested the formation of an official working group to further examine these issues.
Working Group members include Torres; Jeffry Carter, deputy commissioner of Labor for Indiana OSHA; Michelle Ellison, director of INSafe; Sgt. Rod Russell of the Indiana State Police; Scott Imus, executive director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association; Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council; and Joe Lackey, president of the Indiana Grocery & Convenience Store Association Inc.