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Target Settles with OSHA, Will Correct Exit Access and Storage Hazards

Oct. 20, 2020
The retailer has agreed to address worker safety at about 200 stores and to a settlement of more than $400,000.

Target Corp. will correct exit access and storage hazards and pay $464,750 as part of a regional settlement with the Department of Labor.

“Under this agreement, Target Corporation is taking steps to proactively address and prevent two of the major safety hazards in the retail industry and maintain safe working conditions for its employees,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York in a statement.

The retailer will also enhance worker safety to abate and prevent egress and storage safety issues at all Target stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts over the next two years. As part of the agreement, Target will build on its existing safety program with the following commitments:

  • Authorize stores’ management to delay incoming delivery of inventory if needed to ensure safe egress conditions.
  • Authorize stores’ management to requisition additional storage capacity, such as storage trailer or offsite storage space, if needed to ensure safe egress conditions.
  • Conduct surveillance camera monitoring of egress conditions at select “high-risk” stores.
  • Have outside managers visit each store at least twice per year to monitor egress safety and address any problems.
  • Arrange unannounced third-party audits of egress safety at each store at least once each year, with a second audit the next quarter if a store fails the initial audit;
  • Retrain all affected employees on issues covered by the settlement.
  • Permit OSHA access to the stores to verify compliance with the settlement agreement and determine if cited conditions were addressed.

Between May and December 2019, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited eight Target locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York for numerous violations involving blocked or obstructed access to emergency exits and fire exit routes and/or unsafe storage of materials in stores’ backrooms and storage areas.

“Obstructed emergency exit access impedes employees’ ability to exit swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency and unsafe storage of materials exposes employees to crushing and struck-by hazards. Employees are responsible for supplying their employees with safe and healthful workplaces,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton in Boston. 

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