OSHA guidelines spark debate from retailers.
he public comment period closed in early December on guidelines proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding nighttime violence in retail establishments. Though these are only guidelines, and voluntary ones at that, the convenience store and franchise industry associations have complained vociferously. The groups believe OSHA inspectors might interpret the guidelines to require two clerks to be on duty during nighttime hours in certain suspect downtown locations.
Marc Katz of the National Association of Convenience Stores says he thinks OSHA has heard his group's concerns. "We think we've gotten our point across," he says. "But what [OSHA] says and what it does--well, we'll have to see."
Final guidelines are due out later this year. They were proposed in mid-1996 because of the number of employees hurt or killed at businesses during nighttime hours.