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N.M. regs protect convenience store workers

March 5, 2004
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New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Board has approved new regulations to protect convenience store employees from violent attacks, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The new rules require convenience stores to:

  • Have at least two people working between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m., or install bullet-proof shelters to limit access to employees working alone at night, or close stores from midnight to 5 a.m.;
  • Increase lighting inside and outside stores;
  • Clear store windows of signs that block the view of the store interior;
  • Install video cameras inside and outside stores;
  • Install time-lock safes;
  • Train employees in safety and security.

The rules go into effect June 1. Stores will have 90 days to comply. Under federal OSHA regulations, stores that don't comply could be fined up to $7,000 per violation.

The rules were proposed following a five-year study of violent acts against convenience store employees working late at night. The study, based on police reports in six cities, found 16 reported homicides, 24 rapes, 37 kidnappings, 1,918 assaults and seven drive-by shootings.

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