As of June 1, it will be a requirement in Alberta that consumers pay for fuel before they start pumping. In a few places in Drumheller, this practice will be put into effect sooner rather than later.
The Alberta government passed an “Act to Protect Gas and Convenience Store Workers.” It amends the Occupational Health and Safety Code to make it mandatory for consumers to prepay for fuel. This is to combat the risks associated with gas-and-dash incidents and robberies.
“As Albertans, our hearts break when we see incidents of violence involving workers. That’s why we are taking action to increase safety for retail fuel and convenience store workers by introducing mandatory violence-prevention plans and pre-payment options for fuel. This legislation would better protect workers and prevent violent incidents from happening in Alberta,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour.
Last week a sign at the Extra Foods Gas Bar informed customers that they have already implemented the change.
Brent Walker, operations manager for Westview Co-op, says this week at gas stations throughout Westview Co-op, including the location in Drumheller, will be implementing the change.
“For us here, we do not have pay at the pump service, so people will have to come in and pay for their fuel first,” said Walker. He explains if consumers are using cash, they can continue to drive up and interact with attendants. However, if they are using a card, the will have to enter the store to complete the transaction before the fuel is pumped.
“We will still be doing full service like we have done in the past,” he said.
He feels it is a positive change.
“The government is making a good choice with that, now you don’t have anyone at risk,” he said. He adds that in the future they will update the pumps at their location to make it more convenient.
Oasis Carwash and Convenience Store installed fuel pumps a couple of years ago. Owner Jason Woo tells The Mail, when they installed their new equipment, they made sure it would be in compliance if a law of this type came into effect, including pay at the pump.
“I like the changes, there is no hassle, otherwise we have to watch customers,” he said.
He acknowledges that some might not find it convenient, but he feels it promotes safety and loss prevention.