Discount retailer Dollar General continues to ignore federal workplace safety inspectors who previously have warned the company to correct hazards that could potentially jeopardize customer and employee safety during an emergency situation.
OSHA recently responded to a complaint and investigated the company’s Van Buren, Mo. location, once again finding blocked exits and other hazards.
A serious violation was given after inspectors found the stockroom provided little access to exit areas in the event of an emergency situation because merchandise and materials restricted exit routes. A merchandise cart was found blocking an exit from the retail area to the stockroom, which inhibited access to a side exit door. In addition, throughout the store, numerous rolltainers, push carts and customer carts full of merchandise were found in aisle ways which consequently blocked emergency egress to exit doors.
At Dollar General’s latest inspection, inspectors found one repeated, one serious and one other-than-serious safety citation for a total of $97,988 in proposed fines.
"In an emergency, every second matters. Neither workers nor customers should have to fight through way through piles of merchandise to exit a building safely," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis in a statement. "As an organization, Dollar General must take responsibility to review its safety and health programs and fix these hazards at all of its stores nationwide now before tragedy strikes."
Dollar General’s previous citations date back to 2010. The company, which operates more than 12,000 stores in 43 states and employs 100,000 workers, has been cited more than 100 times for various safety and health issues.
View current citations here.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to respond to the agency.