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7-Eleven to Pay $1.5 Million for Failure to Properly Train Employees Handling Carbon Dioxide

Convenience store operator 7-Eleven, Inc. will pay a $1.525 million settlement for failing to properly train employees in the handling of hazardous material in California stores, Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni announced Friday.

The company, which is an operator or franchiser of more than 1,700 stores in California, 25 of which are located in Monterey County, violated state laws requiring training of store personnel in the handling hazardous material.

Several counties, including Monterey, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Solano, Ventura and Yolo were involved in the prosecution of the case.

Prosecutors said 7-Eleven stores use carbon dioxide for their carbonated fountain beverage systems, and the company submitted certified reports for California stores that did not accurately and completely disclose employee training information as required by state laws.

Carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless and non-flammable gas is safe if handled properly, but the gas can cause serious health effects or even death if handled improperly, prosecutors said.

The gas is widely used by fast food and convenience stores.

A settlement in the case was reached after 7-Eleven revised practices to ensure all employees had proper training.

The $1.525 million monetary settlement was comprised by $948,000 in civil penalties, $252,000 for supplemental environmental projects promoting training for California environmental agencies and prosecutors and $325,000 for reimbursement for investigative and enforcement costs.

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