Walmart continues to endanger the safety and health of its employees despite a 2013 corporate-wide settlement agreement* with the OSHA to improve safety and health conditions at all of its store locations.
In its agreement with OSHA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. allows the agency to conduct health-monitoring inspections to protect company employees from workplace hazards. One of the world's largest retailers, Walmart has store locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and 27 countries.
In an inspection of the Walmart Supercenter on Mobile Highway, OSHA officials found serious health violations. On March 15, the agency issued citations to the employer for three repeated and two serious violations. Proposed penalties total $118,800.
The repeated citations relate to the employer not:
- Providing Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers that were designated to clean up blood spills.
- Ensuring workers understood the symptoms and control measures for Hepatitis B.
- Failing to maintain unobstructed access to the disconnect box and panel for the baler and trash compactor. OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2013 at a New York location.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:
- Annually train workers designated to clean up blood spills on the dangers of blood-borne pathogens.
- Provide employees with sufficient working space to avoid contact with live electrical wires.
- Protect them from exposure to 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 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."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has had more than 330 OSHA inspections within the past five years. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company employs more than 1.4 million workers in more than 5,500 stores and clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.