Discount retailer Dollar Tree Stores Inc. is once again under OSHA scrutiny for obstructing exit routes and electrical panels.
The company's Elmira, N.Y. store was recently the subject of an agency inspection which uncovered multiple health and safety violations.
“Employers have a duty to protect workers from unsafe conditions at stores nationwide,” said Jeffrey Prebish, OSHA's Syracuse area director. “Improper storage of merchandise can result in employees being struck by falling inventory, while blocked exit routes can impede swift exit in an emergency.”
OSHA inspectors discovered unsafe storage of materials, boxes and equipment blocking an exit route in a storage room, unsecured boxes stacked to the ceiling, and piles of equipment and boxes blocking access to a circuit breaker.
Three repeat violations were given to the Cheaspeake, Va., which proposed penalties totaling $208,368. Similar violations were found at locations in Bronx, Amityville, Lindenhurst, and Yonkers, New York, in 2014 and 2015. Recently, OSHA cited the retailer for violations at four stores in Idaho.
In 2015, the retailer reached a corporate-wide settlement agreement to the tune of $825,000 as a result of 13 different inspections. In that case, the company promised it would implement safeguards to protect workers at Dollar Tree stores nationwide from hazards related to blocked emergency exits, obstructed access to exit routes and electrical equipment and improper material storage
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.