We just returned from the recent Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) event in Dallas, Texas, where we were not only a sponsor, but we also presented during the Maintenance/Environmental/Safety Share Group Meeting. You can learn more about the SIGMA event here. For those of you who couldn’t come, we’ve compiled our seven top takeaways from the meeting.
1. Violence & Active Threats
Even before the tragic events unfolded in Las Vegas on October 1, dealing with active threats was a main concern that attendees talked about at the SIGMA event – specifically regarding robberies at their convenience stores (C-stores) and gas stations. Despite the economic rebound over the last few years, robberies have increased at C-stores/gas stations. Workers at these venues have a rate seven times higher of work-related homicide than workers in other industries. One of the key methods to keeping employees safe is training – training them to stay alert, assess for threats, and to diffuse situations. Providing them with the skills to respond properly and create a safe work environment means that criminal activity can be more easily deterred. Amanda Cote CIH, CSP, Consultant at Antea Group, presented a timely presentation titled "Robbery and Active Threats – How to Prepare / Customers and Employees Need to Feel Safe." View her presentation to learn more about this important issue.
2. Transportation & Trucking Fleet Safety
The use of controlled substances – and each state’s varying and constantly changing regulatory status – plays a major factor in driver/fleet safety. The safety factor discussion also included the use of hand-held devices by drivers and the use of cameras in the cabs – and how corporate liability is intertwined in all of it.
3. Data Skimming Activity by Criminals
It’s happening more frequently than you might think. Skimmers are being connected to fuel dispensers and ATMs, and they utilize new technologies like Blue-tooth, which make them much more difficult to detect. A criminal knows having your credit card number by itself may not get them very far, so hidden cameras are often used to capture your PIN number as well. Being alert while at the pumps, taking notice of anything that looks out of the ordinary and notifying the police or gas station staff if anything looks off are good ways to help deter the criminal activity.
4. Safety Culture
Participants also discussed companies working to improve their existing safety culture as well as others learning how to build an effective safety culture from the ground up. Having your employees on board – where safety becomes second nature to them – translates into extending that safety culture to any customer that is on your property as well. Comprehensive safety training was mentioned as one of the crucial building blocks for creating a great safety culture at any company – participants voiced that keeping everyone safe is of paramount concern.
5. Regulatory Updates
The law firm Holland & Knight provided pertinent Federal and State regulatory updates. Because regulations are always changing it is important to dicuss how to mitigate impacts and adapt to avoid legal and environmental problems.
6. Due Diligence Strategies
The competitive landscape for mergers and acquisitions in the petroleum marketing space has changed the way businesses are sold, and how resulting environmental, health and safety due diligence exercises are conducted. Companies need to look comprehensively at designing due diligence exercises based, on type of sale, asset types, etc. while controlling the timing of the due diligence investment dollar. Bill MacDonald, Senior Vice President for Antea Group, provided the presentation titled “EHS Due Diligence Strategy." View his presentation to gain insights on how due diligence plays into long-term EHS strategy.
7. Forward-Thinking Members
The attendees were actively engaged in this meeting and were already discussing topics they wanted to cover at the next Share Group Meeting, including:
- What their rights are during/after an OSHA audit
- Impacts of the impending October 2018 underground storage tank deadlines
- Food safety
- Marijuana and opioid use prevention
- More regulatory updates
Antea Group has been an active partner with SIGMA for many years and we look forward to continuing and building upon this partnership for years to come. We hope to see you at the next SIGMA event (check our event calendar to stay updated).
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