Regulations for night workers weakened

Rules meant to protect people working at night in British Columbia have been changed.

  • Dec. 14, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Grant De Patie

by Monisha Martins, Black Press

Rules meant to protect people working at night in British Columbia have been changed to allow gas station and convenience store clerks to work alone, without barriers.

WorkSafeBC announced amendments to Grant’s Law, finding it wasn’t “practicable,” or feasible, for retailers to hire additional workers or erect protective barriers.

Convenience stores can follow other safety procedures, including time-lock safes that can’t be opened during late night hours, video surveillance, as well as keeping limited amounts of cash and lottery tickets at hand. In addition, employers will be required to do regular security audits to confirm that all the controls have been implemented.

“Our priority continues to be protecting late night retail workers from acts of violence,” said Roberta Ellis, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for WorkSafeBC, in a press release announcing the amendment.

The change has outraged the family of Grant De Patie, who fought hard to implement Grant’s Law after he was killed in 2005.

The law made British Columbia the first province in Canada to make drivers pay before they pump gas, and required employers to have two workers or barriers for those who work retail graveyard shifts.

“It is a portion of Grant’s Law that we fought for,” said his father, Doug.

“It addressed the underlying causes of what led to Grant’s death.”

Grant De Patie, 24, was working alone when he was killed in 2005 while trying to prevent a gas-and-dash robbery at an Esso station in Maple Ridge.

The B.C. Federation of Labour also criticized the changes.

“It is extremely disappointing to see WorkSafeBC sacrifice evidence-based safety regulations after a lobby based only on the profit motive of late-night employers,” said president Jim Sinclair.

But the Western Convenience Store Association, which lobbied for the change, believes money can now be saved and, in turn, spent on better security.

“It sets a standard for late-night retailers and provides them with an opportunity for them to have someone do a security audit at their store to ensure it has a good, safe environment for their customers and employees to enjoy,” said association chair Len McGeouch.

McGeouch noted that experts have found that having more than one person on staff doesn’t stop criminals from committing robbery.

“If there is a predisposition to committing a criminal act, having one, two or three people won’t stop a person from doing it,” he added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Ryan’s Regards: What if he made it to Langley?

Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope 40 years ago and people are still running in his honour

OUR VIEW: Fox fight continues

Thanks for keeping this courageous young man’s vision alive 40 years later

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read