Just weeks after being cited for three repeated safety violations, Dollar General once again has been cited for endangering workers and customers by blocking exit routes with merchandise.
OSHA has fined the discount retailer at its Bolivar, Ohio location a proposed $156,772 for blocked exits, unmarked fire extinguisher locations and blocked electrical panels.
At the Bolivar location, mops, bags of trash, boxes and containers were found piled in front of emergency exit doors in the stock room. The emergency exit at the back of the store also was obstructed by six large plastic trash cans on one side and cardboard boxes of merchandise on the other.
In addition, grey container boxes were stacked in front of fire extinguishers in the stock room. On the sales floor, six large plastic trash cans with lids blocked the extinguishers.
"In an emergency, no one should have to struggle to get out of a store safely, grab a fire extinguisher or shut down the power quickly, but these dangerous hazards are exactly what our inspectors found at the Dollar General store in Bolivar," said Larry Johnson, OSHA's area director in Columbus in a statement. "Finding these conditions in one company location is bad enough, but Dollar General's willingness to ignore its immediate responsibility to protect employees and shoppers in all of its stores is cause for real concern."
These safety violations are not limited to one location. The company most recently was assessed $97,988 in proposed fines on September 8 at its Van Buren, Mo. store for similar repeated violations.
Dollar General, which operates more than 12,500 stores in 43 states and employs about 100,000 workers, has assed more than $1 million in fines due to similar violations since 2010.