Less than three years after signing a corporate safety agreement with OSHA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is violating the terms of that agreement, OSHA says.
In a 2013 settlement, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to improve the safety and health conditions at all of its stores and to allow OSHA to conduct health-monitoring inspections on workplace hazards.
Yet, on March 15 OSHA cited Wal-Mart for five health and safety violations and assessed $118,000 in fines after inspecting a Supercenter in Pensacola, Fla.
The company received repeated citations for: not providing Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers responsible for cleaning up blood spills; not making sure workers knew the symptoms for Hepatitis B; and for not maintaining unobstructed access to the disconnect box and panel for the baler and trash compactor. OSHA cited Wal-Mart for the same violations in 2013 at a Buffalo, N.Y. store.
The company received serious citations for: not annually training workers responsible for cleaning up blood spills on blood-borne pathogens; not providing employees with enough space to avoid contact with live electrical wires while working; and not protecting employees from shock and burn hazards.
“The blood-borne pathogen and safe access violations were previously cited and also covered in the settlement agreement, yet employees are still being exposed to these hazards," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in the Jacksonville, Fla. office. "It is very frustrating to see that these hazards continue to exist and is a clear indication management is not actively involved in the safety and health program.”
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart has had more than 330 OSHA inspections in the past five years. The company employs more than 1.4 million workers in more than 5,500 stores and clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.