OSHA Penalizes Dollar Tree Stores For Putting Employees at Risk

 
Thursday, October 23, 2014
 

National discount chain Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willfully and repeatedly exposing workers to serious hazards at its store in Watauga. Across the nation, Dollar Tree Stores have been cited for more than 200 safety and health violations since 2009. Proposed penalties for the latest inspection total $262,500.

At the Watauga store, two willful violations, with a penalty of $130,500, were cited for failing to ensure exit doors were kept clear and unobstructed and that products were stored in a stable and secure manner. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Four repeat violations, carrying a penalty of $132,000, were cited for failing to keep passageways clean and clear and to secure compressed gas cylinders and prevent blocking of portable fire extinguishers and electrical panels.  A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.  In the past five months, OSHA has issued more than $800,000 in fines to Dollar Tree Stores for the same or similar violations.

OSHA has received complaints from Dollar Tree Stores employees in 26 states since 2009, and it has cited the company for 234 safety violations in that time period. This includes willful violations found during 2014 inspections in Delaware, Massachusetts and Montana.

Dollar Tree Stores, headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, employs approximately 17,600 full-time and 69,800 part-time workers. OSHA began investigating the Watauga store after receiving a complaint about dangerous conditions.

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