INDIANAPOLIS -- Michelle Ellison, director of INSafe, a division of the Indiana Department of Labor, made a proposal at the Late Night Retail Working Group public meeting last week to create an alliance with the three major late night retail associations--the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, Grocery & Convenience Store Association and Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers--to provide education and training opportunities throughout the industry and to provide specific consultative services as needed to specific stores upon request.
INSafe works with Indiana's employers, employees, labor unions, professional groups, trade organizations and others to ensure workplace health and safety.
Commissioner of Labor Lori A. Torres briefed the group on recent discussions with other state agencies, including the Indiana Department of Health, the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission and the Indiana Egg Board on possible cooperative dissemination of information and outreach to late-night retail stores via existing programs.
Scot Imus, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, confirmed his group's and the industry's commitment to move forward to establish best practices for risk assessment and agreed-upon safety practices and potential voluntary audit standards for participating organizations and stores.
Four family members or representatives of victims of late-night robberies provided testimony to the working group demonstrating and arguing for the need for additional safety measures in late-night retail establishments.
Torres assured them that the group had "not only heard their concerns but intends to work to address them."
She added, "The working group has established a clear plan of action to improve worker safety and violence prevention in late night retail stores in Indiana. 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," observed Commissioner Torres.