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Convenience Store Injuries in Atlanta – Robbery Risks are Real

Atlanta police are looking for a convenience store robber who robbed a gas station wearing a clown mask, FOX News reported.

Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys understand the risks of working the night shift at convenience stores is no laughing matter in today’s 24-hour world. Employers must take steps to protect workers. That may include having proper parking lot and security lighting, installing cameras and an alarm system, scheduling pairs to work together at night, and using common sense in staffing issues.
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It may also require a convenience store owner to recognize when the risks of staying open all night outweigh the rewards. Unfortunately, the profit motive often wins that debate and obvious risks are ignored until a tragedy occurs. Statistics continue to show that convenience store clerks are more susceptible to workplace robbery and homicide than any other occupation except taxi cab drivers.

In this case, police say a suspect wearing a clown mask walked into the Express Zone on Jonesboro Road, slugged the clerk in the head, and forced him to empty the cash register and an ATM. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

Last month, CBS Atlanta reported a customer was shot during a convenience store robbery on Augusta Road shortly after 3:15 a.m. Last week in Delaware, two store clerks were shot and killed during a robbery.

Too often, serious or fatal injuries involving convenience store staff impact hardworking, low-income families. While nothing can properly compensate for the loss of a loved one, available benefits are not insignificant and may help a family moving forward. Survivor benefits in the event of workplace death in Georgia are the same for convenience store employees as they are for those working in other industries: Burial expenses of up to $7,500. A surviving spouse is entitled to two-thirds of weekly pay ($500 max) up to a maximum of $150,000. Dependent children of a deceased worker may be entitled to receive benefits until the age of 21 if they attend college.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation show convenience store robberies continue to account for about six percent of all robberies reported to police. Some locations may be particularly vulnerable to repeat victimization, including those with low security, significant amounts of cash, and few staff members on duty.

Safety advocates remind customers and employees they should never resist a robber. Higher injury rates are consistently found when employees take resistance measures during a robbery.

In addition to the obvious physical risks, victims of robbery may suffer psychological harm. Average employee work lost per episode is 3.5 days. Average cost per robbery event (which is considered an act of workplace violence) is estimated at $250,000.

Store characteristics that should be taken into account when determining robbery risks include operational hours, interior layout, exterior environment and location, ownership, staff numbers, cash-control procedures and incident response policies. Specific retailer responses that can reduce the risk of robbery include maximizing surveillance, increasing staff during high-risk hours, proper employee training, store maintenance, installation of camera and alarm systems and advanced cash-control procedures.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.

Additional Resources
Work-Injury Prevention in Georgia – Efforts Pay Big Dividends, Published By J. Franklin Burns, P.C., Sept. 23, 2012.