WorkSafe BC (the province’s occupational health and safety regulator) has proposed amendments to BC’s “gas -and-dash” laws. Currently retailers in BC must assign more than one employee to work any shift from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., or, ensure that any single worker is behind locked doors or other physical barrier. The new law, which will come into effect April 15, 2012, will allow a retail worker to work on his or her own between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. provided that all of the following controls are instituted:
- a time lock safe that can’t be opened during late night hours, and signage advising the public of this;
- cash and lottery tickets not reasonable necessary to operate during late night hours are stored in the time lock safe, and signage advising the public of this;
- video surveillance monitoring;
- limited access to the interior of the premises;
- good visibility in and out of the premises; and
- personal emergency transmitters for the worker, who must be at least 19 years of age, that are monitored by the employer or a designated third party.
The current law was dubbed the “gas-and-dash” law as it was introduced in 2008 after lobbying by the parents of a late-night gas attendant who was dragged to his death by a vehicle after he tried to prevent the driver from fleeing before paying.
WorkSafe BC contends that the new law will safeguard late-night workers while offering a solution to retailers whose businesses are unsustainable under the other two options.